20 Instagram Profiles that Every Nature Lover & Environmentalist Should Follow

Matabishi and friend
Matabishi and friend. Photo: Virunga National Park, Instagram.

Whether you’re stuck inside during the pandemic or just waiting for election results, these accounts will keep you motivated and connected to the natural world.

These days many of us have a natural inclination to “doomscroll” — that constant refreshing of social media so we can gnash our teeth at the most recent bad news.

There’s an alternative. Let’s call it hopescrolling — the art and act of looking for beautiful things and important information to keep us inspired.

With the pandemic and election results still looming over our heads, here are 20 of our favorite nature- and environment-related Instagram accounts. May they fill your days with beauty and drive you to fight for the planet.

1. iNaturalist

Some of the best photos from the app that helps scientists and everyday citizens keep track of the natural world.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by iNaturalist (@inaturalistorg)

2. Joel Sartore

The famed National Geographic photographer is on a mission to capture the world’s biodiversity before it disappears.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Joel Sartore- Photo Ark (@joelsartore)

3. Everyday Climate Change

Six photographers team up to showcase the very real effects of climate change around the world.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Everyday Climate Change (@everydayclimatechange)

4. Virunga National Park

This park is famously home to mountain gorillas, but its account shows so much more.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark)

5. Cornell Lab of Ornithology

All birds, all the time.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Cornell Lab of Ornithology (@cornellbirds)

6. BBC Earth

We’ve all seen the documentaries, but there’s a lot more photos and videos to enjoy through this account.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by BBC Earth (@bbcearth)

7. Zoe Keller Art

One of The Revelator’s favorite nature artists. (Check out our interview with Keller here.)

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Zoe Keller Art (@zoekellerart)

8. Alex Wild

Among the world’s best insect photographers — and an important entomologist to boot.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Alex Wild (@alexwildology)

9. Carls of Ohio

A groundhog that lives in a friend’s backyard. Hey — urban biodiversity matters.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Groundhogs (@carls_of_ohio)

10. The Caterpillar Lab

So much color, plus background on some species (and body stages) that we tend to overlook.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by The Caterpillar Lab (@the_caterpillar_lab)

11. David Attenborough

The conservation icon doesn’t plan to be on Instagram very long — hey, he’s in his nineties — but this account is gold.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by A Life On Our Planet (@davidattenborough)

12. Drone the Whales

Amazing aerial footage of cetaceans around the world.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Drone The Whales (@dronethewhales)

13. Roger Peet

This amazing artist/activist frequently works with our parent organization, the Center for Biological Diversity, but that’s just a fraction of his inspirational output.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Roger Peet (@toosphexy)

14. National Park Service

Not only does this agency help protect amazing landscapes, it also employs some incredibly talented photographers. And they share great tips.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by National Park Service (@nationalparkservice)

15. Winona LaDuke

The famed Native American activist is a source of constant inspiration.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Winona LaDuke (@winonaladuke)

16. Public Lands Hate You

See what certain people do wrong when they try to celebrate the natural world — and remind yourself not to follow in their footsteps.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by RESPECT OUR PUBLIC LANDS (@publiclandshateyou)

17. United Nations Environment Programme

This great account frequently features world-saving initiatives both large and small.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by UN Environment Programme (@unep)

18. NASA Climate Change

Images and science about the planet. Expect lots of photos of melting icebergs.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by NASA Climate Change (@nasaclimatechange)

19. International Dark-Sky Association

This organization is devoted to protecting us from light pollution, and these photos will inspire you to look up into the night.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by International Dark-Sky Assoc. (@idadarksky)

20. The Center for Biological Diversity

Our parent organization’s Instagram account will both entertain you and keep you engaged in important activism. Just when you’re needed most.

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by CenterforBiologicalDiversity (@centerforbiodiv)

This article was originally published in The Revelator. You can view the original story here.

 

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John R. Platt is the editor of The Revelator. An award-winning environmental journalist, his work has appeared in Scientific American, Audubon, Motherboard, and numerous other magazines and publications. His “Extinction Countdown” column has run continuously since 2004 and has covered news and science related to more than 1,000 endangered species. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and the National Association of Science Writers. John lives on the outskirts of Portland, Oregon, where he finds himself surrounded by animals and cartoonists.

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