The National Geographic Photo Ark is a travelling exhibition of photographer Joel Sartore’s quest to create a photo archive of biodiversity around the world. So far, Sartore has captured studio portraits of more than 6,000 species – a number that he hopes to double.

On 1 July, the ark will open at Melbourne zoo – the first time it has been exhibited in the southern hemisphere. More than 50 portraits will be on display, including many of Australian endangered animals being protected by programs at the zoo itself. These captions have been edited from text supplied by Melbourne zoo.

The National Geographic Photo Ark exhibition is open at Melbourne Zoo from 1 July until 1 October

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