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Leif Steneby is an architect, designer, and artist from Gothenburg who is very committed to animals and nature. Leif wants to, through his art, help preserve endangered species.
The paintings are done with acrylic on a textured canvas of 100% cotton. They are 55 x 46 cm (21.6 x 18 inches), with a total size of 60 x 50 cm (23.6 x 19.6 inches) including the frame.
Help us save endangered species and bid on your favorite painting!
Painting #1: Eurasian Eagle-Owl
The Eurasian Eagle-Owl is the largest owl in the world and is recognizable by the distinctive tufts on its head.
The Eagle-Owl was nearly extinct in Scandinavia due to environmental toxins and reckless hunting. Up until 1925, the government in Sweden paid a bounty on the owls, which were seen as pests. By 1950, the population was at a critical point, and a reprieve was given to the Eagle-Owl.
The Eurasian Eagle-Owls that are born at Nordens Ark are reintroduced to the wild.
Painting #2: Snowy Owl
Snowy owls are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. However, they hunt throughout the bright nights of summer in the Arctic region. The foremost prey is lemmings and other small rodents. The male owl has fewer dark spots on his feathers than the female, with older males being nearly white. Females are speckled with brown and black on a white background.
Snowy owls are very rarely seen, and they nest in Sweden only when there are enough lemmings. During the latter part of the 20th century, the reduced lemming population negatively affected many bird species, including the snowy owl. This has brought the numbers of owls to a critically low level.
Painting #3: Great Grey Owl
The Great Grey Owl is one of our largest owls, and many have been startled by it in the twilight. The soft feathers on the wings make the owl nearly silent as it flies and surprises its prey.
In Sweden, the grey owl is scattered throughout the larger parts of Norrland, mostly along the coast, Västerbotten and Jämtland. Careless deforestation of the old pine and blended woods has drastically affected the nesting of the grey owl. In addition, illegal trade of both birds and eggs has also reduced their numbers.
Painting #4: White Stork
Few birds have had more myths spun around them than the white stork. We learn from an early age that babies are brought by storks. People long believed that a stork’s nest on the roof prevented the roof from burning.
Unfortunately, the white stork has nearly disappeared from Sweden, as well as large parts of the rest of Europe, mostly due to a lack of food. When wetlands were drained to increase grazing lands, the storks’ food supply disappeared. The white stork lives more or less throughout Europe, but in Scandinavia, they nest only in Denmark and Skåne.
The storks born at Nordens Ark are sent to the Stork Project in Skåne, where they are later released into the wild.
Painting #5: White-backed Woodpecker
The White-backed Woodpecker is one of Sweden's most endangered birds, with only a few breeding pairs in the wild.
Nordens Ark has been working for several years to raise and release the woodpecker. It is an important job, and we hope we are making a difference. However, it takes the cooperation of land and forest owners who use modern forestry to remove dead trees and wood, which are vital for woodpeckers and many other species.
Painting #6: Northern Bald Ibis
With its red legs, bald head and long red beak, the Northern Bald Ibis is an odd little bird. Many are fascinated by the attractively ugly appearance of the bird.
In the past, the Northern Bald Ibis was found throughout large areas of Southern and Southeastern Europe, and Northern Africa. Today, it is acutely threatened, with only about 250 individuals left in the wild. Their decline can be linked to, among other causes, the changing cultural landscape, the loss of wetlands, and the use of environmental poisons such as DDT.
Nordens Ark participates in the European breeding program for the Northern Bald Ibis. The goal is to increase not only the number of individuals, but also the genetic diversity of the population. In addition, the program functions as support for the preservation of the ibis in the wild by all possible measures, including providing individuals for reintroduction.