You aren’t losing your vision. But you are losing something.

Brace yourselves. Often times we choose to blissfully ignore the wild animals that are nearing extinction in an effort to avoid confronting the problem. It’s quite understandable; it’s similar to us not checking our weight because deep down we know that the numbers are not moving in our favor. Both issues can be too overwhelming to tackle so the next best solution is to ignore it and hope it resolves itself.

That is until we come across a campaign like WWF Japan’s “Population by Pixel”. This campaign draws our attention to the heartbreaking reality of various animal species where it extends beyond a numerical value. Let’s be real, a presentation of only statistics does not strike a chord nor are they worth remembering.  

This particular campaign, created by the agency Hakuhodo C&D / Tokyo that collaborated with Yoshiyuki Mikami, displays a unique representation of images where each pixel symbolizes an animal and the collection of pixels provides a visual illustration of how close the animal is to extinction.

The following images are from the project by the programmer Joshua Smith. It was inspired by the Japanese campaign. Each of the images creates a correlation between the number of pixels and the number of animals left of that species.  In other words, if you can’t figure out what the animal is in the image, the closer that poor species is to extinction.

Animal extinction is never an amusing topic, but for all of the animal lovers out there, this collection of images will be thought-provoking. They say a picture is equal to a thousand words. For once, a pixel speaks a thousand alone.

Galapagos Penguins; Estimated about 2,000 remaining
Fin Whale; Estimated between 50,000-90,000 remaining
Bengal Tiger; Estimated about 2,500 remaining
Borneo Pygmy Elephant; Estimated about 1,500 remaining
Chimpanzee; Estimated about 172,700-299,700 remaining

These striking images spurred up a range of comments. Some people enjoyed the visuals and it was a refreshing change from staring at numbers.

Others are requesting a version that includes us.

Either way, none of us are ready to say goodbye to these precious animals.