National Geographic Magazine’s April 2016 Issue Features 10 Different Covers for the First Time in Publication’s History

Picture of Nat Geo animal magazine covers

In a publishing first for National Geographic magazine, the April 2016 issue has 10 different covers featuring the work of well-known National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore. U.S. subscribers will receive one of the covers at random in their homes, and print newsstands similarly will offer a selection of the covers.

The April covers highlight the National Geographic Photo Ark project, a multiyear effort with Sartore to photograph all captive species and inspire people to save these animals before they disappear. For many of Earth’s creatures, time is running out. Species are disappearing at an alarming rate. To motivate people to care and help stop the crisis, Sartore is creating intimate portraits of an estimated 12,000 species of birds, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates. To date, he has photographed nearly 6,000 animals. Once completed, Photo Ark will serve as an important record of each animal’s existence and a powerful testament to the importance of saving them.

The 10 published covers feature portraits of the following animals: waxy monkey tree frog, hippopotamus, Reimann’s snake-necked turtle, snowy owl, Malayan tiger, Brazilian porcupine, southern three-banded armadillo, Indian peafowl, mother and baby koalas, and Coquerel’s sifaka. Sartore shot the cover images at a number of locations, including Rolling Hills Zoo, the San Antonio Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, Raptor Recovery Nebraska, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, the Saint Louis Zoo, Lincoln Children’s Zoo, the Australia Zoo Wildlife Hospital and the Houston Zoo.

With so many animals to choose from, the magazine staff had a difficult time selecting the 10 to use on the covers.

“We wanted species diversity, from the charismatic and cute to the often overlooked. A mix of engaging characters that started to hint at the scale of Joel’s project was key,” says Susan Goldberg, National Geographic Partners editorial director and National Geographic magazine editor in chief.

Adds Emmet Smith, National Geographic Partners creative director: “Eye contact was key, as one of the hallmarks of the Photo Ark is creating a direct connection between the viewer and the animal.”

Published alongside the story is an extensive photo gallery of Sartore’s portraits and a new interactive that asks readers questions to allow them to discover which of the 10 cover animals they are most like. The “What Animal Is Most Like You?” quiz will feature questions such as, “Do you like warm weather, or snow? Are you a night owl or do you just like to sleep all the time?” The quiz, which will be published at, will let readers find out what animal most closely matches their own behavior while learning about the species on the covers. At the end of the quiz, readers can choose to download their animal’s wallpaper.

Consumers are asked to call 1-800-777-2800 (813-979-6828 outside the U.S./Canada) to purchase their favorite animal cover if they did not receive the cover they like best.


National Geographic magazine’s “Every Last One” feature (April 2016 cover story):

National Geographic magazine’s “What Animal Is Most Like You?” interactive quiz:

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National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit and find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Media Contact

Anna Kukelhaus Dynan
National Geographic Partners
(202) 775-6717