Shared Moment: Safe Passage

A whale mother and her calf on an epic trek

  • Photograph by Douglas Croft
  • PhotoZone
  • Dec 01, 2019

GLIDING THROUGH A FOREST of giant kelp, a gray whale cow and her calf grace the coast of Big Sur, California. After calves are born in Baja California, mothers lead them more than 5,000 miles north to Alaskan feeding grounds then head south again—one of the longest round-trip mammal migrations. “It’s humbling to watch these animals swim by,” says Douglas Croft, who sat on a cliff to make this image, an honorable mention in our 2019 photo contest. Nearly hunted to extinction, gray whales in this region have rebounded. “People caught on that it’s better to protect these beautiful creatures,” says Croft.

More from National Wildlife magazine and the National Wildlife Federation:

2019 National Wildlife Photo Contest Winners »
Check out this and other photographs at NWF's first photography exhibit »
See Last Issue's Shared Moment »

Get Involved

Where We Work

More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

Learn More
Regional Centers and Affiliates