Academy Award-winning director Louie Psihoyos, who is debuting Racing Extinction – a new documentary that airs December 2 on Discovery TV in 220 countries – is a man on a mission. Thousands of species — from grasshoppers and butterflies to megafauna – are in danger of becoming part of the “Sixth Mass Extinction” event in coming years and decades. Psihoyos know firsthand just how much is at stake, since he has sneaked his cameras into many wildlife meat-markets and backroom illegal pet-trade markets on several continents to document what’s going on. “Wildlife trafficking,” he says, “is second only to the drug trade” as a lucrative source of income and products –whether meat, ivory, rhino horn or live pets– for voracious appetites from Africa to China.
“Time is running out,” says Psihoyos, “to save species. It is not a spectator sport.”
In August, Psihoyos and his good friend Joel Sartore, also a National Geographic photographer, used Sartore’s stunning images from his decade-long Photo Ark project, to illuminate the side of the Empire State Building – breathtaking, amusing, and frightening. The goal was to preview Racing Extinction, and jolt people into understanding what’s at stake. Thousands watched below on the street as 30 stories of projected wildlife came to life on the iconic Manhattan skyscraper. Thousands more around the world watched live via social media.
Here’s Psihoyos’s call to action: #StartWith1Thing for each and every one of us across the globe to make small changes in our lives that will have an impact on the places and practices that are killing off the species.
Here are three things you can do:
Watch the Racing Extinction Documentary (Discovery TV) on December 2 (check out the trailer and backstory)
Start with 1 Thing you can do — hashtag #StartWith1Thing
Make Racing Extinction a favorite site to stay on top of efforts by groups and people like you