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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Merçon

Photography: Wildlife Stories with Leonardo Merçon and Instituto Últimos Refúgios

It is with great enthusiasm that I present myself in this new column, a journey I intend to share with all of you, readers who also appreciate nature, my stories about nature photography, and conservation.

My name is Leonardo Merçon, and I am a nature photographer, but above that, I consider myself a storyteller of wildlife, a passionate defender of nature, and an eternal admirer of its beauty and complexity.

In the magical moment of capture, Leonardo Merçon aligns his vision with nature. An Campo Troupial bird, a momentary confidant, shares the perfect moment before the click. This was a bird in rehabilitation at the Instituto Nacional da Mata Atlântica. Photo: Iago Bueno.

Photography, conservation, and wildlife stories

This column is a privilege that filled my heart with joy. It is a unique opportunity to share my adventures and, more than that, to share my emotions with such an engaged and curious audience as you.

This column is the beginning of a journey that promises to be full of adventures, discoveries, and an immersion into the natural world that I love so much.

The photos and texts that I will present here are more than random images; they are fragments of my own soul, captured in magical moments that I lived alongside incredible creatures and special places. Each photo is a story, a chapter of my life, an adventure that I want to share with you.

My Photographs

In the next posts, I will dive into my most relevant photos, revealing the secrets behind each image.

I will tell you about the unusual situations I experienced to capture these moments and also offer interesting information about the depicted species and the challenges faced in the quest for their conservation. Nature photography and conservation are the focus.

Among the forest trees, the affectionate bond between the southern tamandua and its baby is drawn in strokes of tenderness. A touching scene of wildlife.

In the intimacy of the swamp, a close-up of the mesmerizing gaze of the Broad-snouted caiman. A world of secrets revealed in every detail. 🐊🔍

A glimpse of exuberance: Red-billed curassow, a rare gem in Sooretama-ES.

In the shadows of nature, the ocelot from Instituto Terra emerges like a spirit of nature. A precious moment captured in the silent dance of wildlife.

Coordinated steps, red heads in the spotlight: the "soldier grasshoppers" march in impressive formation. A symphony of nature in every step. 🦗🔴

In a majestic embrace, the humpback whale leaps from the ocean depths to envelop the world with the grandeur of its fins. A spectacle of freedom and connection with the seas. 🐋🌊

My Story

But before we proceed on our journey through the beautiful natural world, allow me to share a bit of my background.

I hold a master's degree in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development from IPÊ/ESCAS, and graduated in graphic design from the Federal University of Espírito Santo. My quest to refine my photographic eye also led me to the Academy of Media Arts in Germany, with a full 2-year scholarship from DAAD.

My journey in photography and conservation began two decades ago, and over that time, I developed a deep awareness of the need to coexist harmoniously with other species. Every encounter with wildlife taught me to care more and more about nature.

Meet the Instituto Últimos Refúgios

In 2011, I founded the Instituto Últimos Refúgios, a pioneering Civil Society Organization in environmental and cultural conservation related to nature in Espírito Santo, Brazil. We act as a beacon of hope in a world increasingly aware of the need to preserve our last natural refuges.

As a cultural producer, nature photographer, and cinematographer, I had the privilege of working in environmental conservation worldwide, telling stories through images in national and international media such as BBC and National Geographic.

Each photo is a way to connect with nature and share that connection with you. Today, my work focuses on supporting conservation projects and uniting scientific research, tourism, and culture.

Nature and Culture

I hope that, with my new column, I can share how I see the world. I would like everyone to see nature, at least for a few moments, with the eyes of a passionate person and with deep respect.

The future of our species on the planet depends on the actions we take today. Protecting and preserving the natural world that inspires and moves us so much is a necessity.

I invite all of you to join this journey, to learn more about nature photography and conservation.


Nature photographer and cinematographer, founder of Instituto Últimos Refúgios, Master in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development, passionate about the environment! Join me on this incredible journey of wildlife discoveries and see more beautiful stories as I constantly explore nature.



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