It is hard to imagine that any scientific treatise on its own is going to engage and move humanity enough to care about endangered species. There is no question that wildlife conservation relies on science. But that knowledge needs to reach beyond the scientists who create it. In a world of 10 second attention spans that is a difficult thing to do.
Is it possible that people like National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore are accomplishing as much for wildlife conservation as even the most accomplished scientists? That is a hard thing to measure. But there is no doubt that his images have helped to popularize many, many wildlife conservation issues. And that is a very important contribution to protecting species. Bravo, I say.