June 26, 2009--
Captured during the Wild Wonders of Europe
photography project, vibrantly colored European bee-eaters flit around Hungary
's Puszta, a vast region of plains and wetlands, on May 12, 2008.
By July 2009, 66 photographers will have scoured 48 countries to document European wildlife as well as to show that Europe
is more countryside than concrete, organizers say.
Many of the one hundred thousand images taken during the endeavor, which began in May 2008, will be shown in outdoor exhibitions across Europe starting in 2010.
"If we want these places and creatures to remain and flourish, we must inspire people to want to protect them," said Staffan Widstrand, project director for Wild Wonders of Europe, which was partially funded by the National Geographic Society's Expeditions Council
, in a statement. (The National Geographic Society owns National Geographic News.)
"We hope that we can connect them to the heritage of this continent and make them realize how much there is worth saving."