In honour of World Wildlife Day, what better way to celebrate our beautiful wildlife than through the lens of an influencer. Back in 2013, the United Nations General Assembly declared 3 March as World Wildlife Day, a day to celebrate and raise awareness for the wild animals and plants across our planet.
Each year, World Wildlife Day has a theme, with this year being dedicated to forests, forest species, and ecosystems as titled ‘Forests and Livelihoods: Sustaining People and Planet’. By doing so, it highlights a different area every year, surrounding our wonderful wildlife and raising awareness about sustainability issues that need to be addressed.
A little bit of wildlife context…
In case you didn’t know, as many as 300 million people around the world live in forests and surrounding forest areas, and 1.6 billion people are dependent on forests for their livelihood. It’s crazy to think that in our everyday lives, we don’t realise just how much we rely on forests to survive. From our basic need for oxygen to timber supplies, there is so much more than just that.
Forests cover as much as 31% of the world’s land area and are home to more than 80% of the world’s land animals and plants. Playing such an important role in our lives, forests are split into three distinct types. These are temperate, tropical, and boreal forests. These three forest types can be found across the globe, from North America to South-East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Scandinavia.
There’s so much important information to learn about forests and the roles that they play in our daily lives, and I would recommend clicking on the attached links to check out some great facts.
Why is this an important topic?
If you have read our recent post on Climate Influencers, or not, I’m sure that you will be aware of the damaging effects that climate change has on our forests. Deforestation is occurring at a frightening rate, with 18.7 million acres of forest being lost every year. This is not just a result of climate change, but of agricultural expansion for cropland, road building, and infrastructure expansion, and unsustainable wood logging too, to name a few.
Deforestation is one of the biggest global threats, impacting on human livelihood, as well as on the lives of diverse plants, species, and ecosystems. By taking the time to educate ourselves about this issue, we can not only celebrate forests and the lives of indigenous people in these areas, but we can seek to change our behaviours to promote the conservation of forests and their ecosystems.
Where do influencers fit in?
Influencers play a vital role in not just this issue, but every single important political, societal, and environmental issue that we face on a daily basis. Influencers have a platform in which they can raise awareness through education and inspiration.
We often talk about how influencers can help to educate, but we need to remember that not everything needs to be dark. Influencers are also here to share the amazing moments captured in wildlife, to provide us with incredible images and videos of wildlife and communities that we may not ever get the chance to explore ourselves.
So without further ado, let’s have a look at 10 Instagram influencers of different sizes that we think are worth a follow.
18 year old Mya-Rose is an environmental and wildlife enthusiast from the UK. Within the micro influencer group, she has 9k followers, and a particular specialty in birds. You can find her blog here, which she has been writing since the young age of 11, and has over 4 million views!
With 22.7k followers on Instagram, Robert E Fuller is another micro influencer with a passion for wildlife. His Instagram bio describes his desire for “connecting people with nature”, through his work. He is a blogger, an artist, photographer, and filmmaker.
Based in the UK, Richard is an award-winning wildlife photographer, with a focus on a particular style of dramatic lighting in his work. He is an ambassador for Nikon and for Datacolor, and can be found on Instagram with 28.2k followers. However, you should check out his website where you will find his photography work, links to his talks and workshops, his blog, and his book “Wildlife At Home’.
Another British wildlife enthusiast, Gordon Buchanan is an award-winning cameraman, presenter, and public speaker. He is particularly well known for his challenging assignments across the world, however, currently living in Scotland, his content surrounds local Scottish wildlife at the moment.
Let’s take a look at some Heepsy data here. For having 46k followers, Gordon has a ‘very high’ engagement rate. This indicates that his followers are interacting with his content regularly, which is a very positive sign considering the change experienced due to an inability to travel over the last year. He is managing to keep his followers highly engaged and loving his content, despite circumstances!
Steven is a photographer and filmmaker from Zimbabwe. He has a passion for making voices heard and telling stories through photography. Through his films and stories, he shares more than the South-African wildlife, but the people living in and around these incredible places too.
With 77.7k followers, we can see that Steven inspires an audience from further than Zimbabwe, but also the United States, India, Australia, and all across the globe!
A wildlife photographer, writer, and conservationist, Melissa aims to educate people through her photography about the natural world and its incredible wonders. She is has a deep care for ethics and for raising awareness about the worth of our wildlife. Her Instagram is a great place to follow for highly educational content, where she shares many campaigns and educational materials for her followers.
Will began his career as a wildlife photographer, now an entrepreneur best known for his creation of the ‘BeetleCam’ and devices that enable up-close photography. Here you can find Will’s website, featuring his projects, devices, blog, newsletter, and more. We can see with Heepsy data that Will has worked alongside organisations and charities such as African Parks Network and The Safari Collection. As a macro influencer, Will has a built a career on his love for Wildlife, and has worked with several brands along the way.
At almost 1M followers, National Geographic photographer Brian shares breath-taking photos on his Instagram, with a particular interest in marine life. As a public speaker and Nikon Ambassador too, Brian doesn’t just share beautiful marine life, but educates us on how these creatures can be protected from the damaging consequences of human behaviour and climate change.
Joel is another inspiring National Geographic photographer and Nikon Ambassador. He is also the founder of the long-established project ‘Photo-Ark’, which aims to educate and inspire people to take action in order to protect endangered species. An award-winning speaker, author, and conservationist, Joel’s page shares important information about topics beyond endangered species, such as the issues of deforestation and palm oil.
Taking a look at Heepsy data, it’s no surprise to see that his audience’s primary interests lie within the areas of photography, animals, and travel. With an audience age range of 25-45, many like Joel are hopeful to gain higher interest from a younger audience, the generation to make a real change for the planet.
Finally, we have National Geographic, one of the most popular accounts on Instagram, with 154M followers. This account encompasses the work of all National Geographic photographers on one page, capturing some of the most beautiful creatures and wildlife moments that you will ever see. If you’re not already following, then this account is a must!
With an average of 46 posts a week, which we can see through Heepsy data, there’s an enormous amount of content to take your interest, covering a variety of topics beyond wildlife.
NatGeo is an account that has made use of Instagram’s new Reels feature, with videos that are gaining millions of views!
If you’ve come this far, then I hope that some of these wildlife influencers and experts have caught your attention enough to keep reading. Whether World Wildlife Day is new to you or not, I would encourage you to spend some time learning about the topic, particularly this year’s theme of forests and their ecosystems.
Although these wildlife influencers are here to raise awareness about important issues like this, let’s not forget about the bright side – to experience these magnificent moments of life through their lens! If you would like to find influencers in the wildlife category, then Heepsy is the place to start.