Yasuní National Park

Yasuní National Park

National Geographic photographers document the diversity of life in Ecuador’s Yasuní National Park, now threatened by oil-driven development.


5 - 12


Arts and Music, Health, Earth Science, Geography, Human Geography, Physical Geography, Photography

The video above is from the January 2013 iPad edition of National Geographic magazine.

Yasuní National Park, Ecuador, is a rainforest undergoing radical change. Exploring the region’s oil reserves has threatened many native species and habitats, as well as the lifestyle of the Indigenous Waorani people.

In this video, photojournalists from National Geographic magazine document the current state of Yasuní National Park by interacting with the environment as well as the people who have an interest in it.

In the words of photographer Ivan Kashinsky, “It’s a really important story, and one that needs to be told.”

Each of the five photographers who took part in this Yasuní BioBlitz focused on a unique aspect of the national park. Watch the video or use the video’s scroll feature to listen to the photographers talk about their part in the project.

  • (00:39) Tim Laman photographed diurnal animals—those that are active in the daytime, such as monkeys.
  • (01:27) Steve Winter used camera traps to capture images of more elusive animals, such as jaguars.
  • (02:00) David Liittschwager set up his camera to mimic a microscope so he could photograph some of the park’s smallest inhabitants, such as insects, spiders, and worms.
  • (02:38) Karla Gachet and Ivan Kashinsky documented the changing community and lifestyle of the Waorani people.

Strategies for Using This Video

Before watching the video
Communicate with students facts about the video.

  • National Geographic magazine created this video.
  • The video was made to supplement an article and photo gallery in the magazine’s January 2013 issue.
  • The video features five National Geographic photographers talking about their work on the article and photo gallery.

Before watching the video
To prepare for class discussion after the video, have students take notes on the habitats and species of Yasuní National Park.

  • What mammals do they expect the photographers to find?
  • What insects?
  • What aquatic species?
  • What animals do they think will be easy for photographers to find and photograph? What animals may be difficult to capture on film?

After watching the video
Discuss the questions posed in the “Questions” tab.

Project Idea
Have students document the environment in and around the classroom or school by collecting photos, video, and notes. Encourage students to connect with different kinds of people at the school, such as administrators and staff.

Media Credits

The audio, illustrations, photos, and videos are credited beneath the media asset, except for promotional images, which generally link to another page that contains the media credit. The Rights Holder for media is the person or group credited.

National Geographic Society
Sean P. O'Connor, BioBlitz Education Consultant
Jessica Shea, National Geographic Society, National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

April 22, 2024

For information on user permissions, please read our Terms of Service. If you have questions about how to cite anything on our website in your project or classroom presentation, please contact your teacher. They will best know the preferred format. When you reach out to them, you will need the page title, URL, and the date you accessed the resource.


If a media asset is downloadable, a download button appears in the corner of the media viewer. If no button appears, you cannot download or save the media.


Text on this page is printable and can be used according to our Terms of Service.


Any interactives on this page can only be played while you are visiting our website. You cannot download interactives.

Related Resources