As a wildlife photographer and scientist, I've been exploring Italian rivers and lakes for more than five years in order to show the endangered beauty of freshwater biodiversity.
Snorkeling and scuba-diving in strong currents, turbid waters and ice-covered pools, I portrayed a variety of species, such as newts, snakes, fish and invertebrates, concentrating also on mammals as deer and wolves moving around these environments and waterfowl feeding and breeding there.
Among the most unusual species I've met, the sea lamprey, an ancient animal with three eyes and a single nostril, an elongated body and a sucker-like mouth used to feed upon big fish’ blood. They migrate from the sea upwards in the rivers in order to spawn and are endangered by dams.
Another cool species I looked for is the olm, a white blind salamander living in underground rivers and lakes inside caves, that can live up to a century and fast for eight consecutive years; among its superpowers, also the ability of regenerating legs.
Rivers and lakes are endangered by pollution, habitat alteration and introduction of alien species: conservation of these places is very important to biodiversity, but also for humankind.