At WiLDSPEAK 2016, a conference created by the International League of Conservation Photographers, PhotoWings sat down with award-winning photographer Clay Bolt to discuss his fight to protect the rusty-patched bumble bee as a federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act. Clay shares with us how he became involved in this issue and the ways he used the power of visual storytelling to create positive change. In January 2017, the species became North America's first federally protected native bee.
Clay Bolt is a Natural History and Conservation Photographer specializing in the world's smaller creatures. He regularly partners with organizations such as the National Geographic Society, National Wildlife Federation, and Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. He is an Associate Fellow in the International League of Conservation Photographers (iLCP), president of the North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), and co-founder (2009) of the international nature and biodiversity photography project “Meet Your Neighbours.” His current major focus is on North America's native bees and the important roles that they play in our lives. Clay lives in Bozeman, Montana where he is the communications lead for WWF's Northern Great Plains Program.