In the Falkland Islands, the resiliency of nature is everywhere. National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, who recently traveled to the Falkland Islands, said that he’s “rarely encountered such an intact ecosystem in almost three decades.”
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The Falklands, best known for a long history of land disputes, consist of more than 700 islands and islets. The archipelago wears the scars of war openly. The last conflict, when Argentina invaded the islands it claims as the Malvinas in 1982, ended after a brief but intense engagement with the United Kingdom. Roughly 20,000 land mines have not been accounted for, burned-out helicopters mar the landscape, and the Royal Air Force still has an active airfield on East Falkland.
Today the resiliency of nature is everywhere. The Falklands archipelago is a haven for more than a hundred bird species, many of them seabirds. Thirty-six percent of the global numbers of southern rockhopper penguins, for example, live here. But the extraordinary profusion of wildlife still faces man-made risks: pollution, degraded habitat, oil slicks, baited hooks dragged behind fishing vessels, and, notably, climate change.
See more of Nicklen’s breathtaking photography in the February 2018 National Geographic magazine article on the Falkland Islands: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazine/2018/02/falkland-islands/
After Years of War, Nature is Flourishing on These Tiny Islands | National Geographic