Motivation


One million species are at risk of extinction

We have been losing biodiversity at a fast rate over the past 50 years, and it will likely take millions of years for Earth to recover from this Biodiversity Crisis.

Even insects, which are organisms we usually think of as resilient, are being negatively affected on a large scale. One study showed that 40 percent of insect species are in decline, known as the Insect Apocalypse.

Illegal Wildlife Trade is decimating species

The world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade. With the advent of the Internet opening up new doors for trade.

Over 1 million pangolins have been poached over the past decade, over 70 millions sharks are killed a year for their fins, and African Gray Parrots are being decimated in the wild due to the pet trade.

Ecosystem Collapse

Deforestation is occurring at an unprecedented rate due to conversion to agriculture such as palm oil and soy, or for other purposes such as logging and mining. Forests are essential for mitigating global warming and are homes to many species.

The oceans are in an even more dire situation, with 60% of fisheries fully-fished and 33% overfished. Some shark populations have declined over 90% over the past decades. Plastic is killing 100000 marine mammals and turtles and 1 million seabirds annually.

Recent Projects


Visualizing Shark Numbers

Sharks, Biodiversity, Conservation, Wildlife Trade

How many species of sharks do you know? How deep below the surface do you think sharks can be found? How small is the smallest shark?

Sharks are incredibly diverse, with over 510 species of them. Unfortunately, sharks are being killed by the millions! Every year, roughly 100 million sharks are caught and killed by humans, mostly as a result of bycatch and shark finning.

Learn more about different shark species, their behavior, their diversity, the major threats they are facing and what you can do to help.

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Featured Projects


Who we are


Julia Janicki

Data Visualization Designer / Developer, Conservation Biologist / Entomologist, Cartographer

Jacki Whisenant

Scientific Illustrator, Entomologist, Artist

Sylvia Janicki

Landscape Architect, Designer

Gwen Whitney

Sailing Captain, Artist

Julia does the research, data acquisition, and design & development of data visualizations and interactive stories. Jacki creates awesome scientific illustrations. Sylvia and Gwen help with social media and various design needs for differnet projects and the website.

Contact Us


We would be happy to collaborate! If you are interested in doing research, data acquisition / cleaning / analysis, data visualization design & development, journalism, illustration / art, feel free to reach out and maybe we can make something cool together.

the tardigrade

© The Tardigrade 2019