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Morgan Heim. A Last Leap Towards Flowers.

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Roadkill is something we all see. I think it’s something that we collectively don’t like, but how many of us stop to ponder it?

You might be surprised to know that roads are among the largest human-based causes of wildlife mortality alongside things like habitat destruction and poaching. Nearly a million vertebrates a day are killed on roads just in the United States. In a recent study, road collision was the leading cause of death for 30 percent of mammals and for some species, like the endangered Iberian lynx, getting hit by a car was responsible for 80 percent of deaths.

This yearling black-tailed deer was killed not far from my home in Astoria, Oregon. She was still so beautiful, and seemed caught in mid-stride. She had passed long before I found her, but I wanted her to have a final moment of grace, a chance for us to remember the beauty of a life lost in our need to get from here to there.

I began making these portraits in 2017 in hopes that they could encourage more pondering, and to support solutions. Look for initiatives near where you live to establish wildlife crossings, such as bridges and underpasses, support reduced speed zones, and for some species like salamanders and turtles, you can even join volunteer groups to be a wildlife crossing guard!

Morgan (Mo) Heim is driven by the beauty, humor and perseverance in wildlife conservation stories, and how those relationships shape our lives. She is a Senior Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, co-founder of Her Wild Vision Initiative and a National Geographic Explorer.

Follow Morgan on Instagram @moheim

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