How Art Can Save Species

Creature Conserve is the primary fiscal partner of “Save the Giants.” Check out the unique and innovative approach this organization is taking to increase awareness about the wildlife trade and conservation topics.

jackie woods orangutan design
Original Artwork by Jackie Woods:


The animal kingdom is shrinking because of the actions of the dominant species: humans. We control the resources all creatures need to survive: air, food, water, shelter, and room to move. We are also consuming and using animals for clothing, companionship, entertainment, food, and sport. As a result, an alarming number of species are threatened. This worrisome trend has been well-documented.

Scientists study the impact of climate change, farming, global trade, habitat loss, hunting, and pollution on animal anatomy, behavior, evolution, health, nutrition, population dynamics, preventive medicine, and reproduction. They gather data, interpret it, and make recommendations. The results tell us that most animals present today—including humans—will not survive our massive presence on earth without our immediate intervention. Science also predicts a ripple effect on human health and society.

We hear about the dire state of many species in the media, often on a daily basis. Yet the extinction rate for animals today is higher than ever in recorded history.

Our scientific understanding of what we need to do for saving species is only part of the solution. Science can provide a road map for conservation, but we need motivation to follow it. There is an equally important need to help more people understand how interdependent we are, and that our continued success depends on a diverse and healthy animal kingdom. We need to find new ways to ease conflict and restore damaged habitats. For example, we can pay farmers for their losses or build fences, hire more rangers to stop poachers, invest in parks and reserves, and educate those who live in closest proximity how to live in balance with wildlife. In other words, we have to be willing to share the resources with other species.

At Creature Conserve, we believe the solution is to bring artists and scientists together to each a wider audience with a more inclusive message.

Often, well-meaning people turn away from understanding what conservation truly means because it seems too upsetting, or hopeless. Many of us reside in urban areas, disconnected from nature. Art helps us explore how we feel about animals and our relationships with them. It deepens our understanding of their unique needs and encourages us to appreciate similarities and differences, and to show compassion. Art can make the problems facing animals today not only more real, but more understandable, meaningful, and solvable. It can motivate us to take conservation action.

We develop programs that encourage artists to get more involved and informed by collaborating with scientists who work in conservation. We want this work to result in art that is both informed by the facts and emotionally charged. We believe such art will engage the public more fully and more effectively, and that the well being of all species depends on  art/science collaboration more than ever.

Artwork created through interaction between scientists and artists reaches its widest and most diverse audience online and in exhibits that include galleries and museums as well as schools, libraries, and gathering places such as coffee shops, bookstores, assisted living facilities, banks, hotel lobbies, office buildings, and other public venues.




“Artists have always been interpreters of our time. Through their eyes, the science of saving species and the importance of taking a one-health approach to conservation becomes accessible, meaningful, relevant, and, the source of positive change.”

— Creature Conserve Founder, Dr. Lucy Spelman