Employees Photograph Wildlife at General Motors Sites

Apr 6, 2017 9:15 AM ET

From a parts warehouse in Talegaon, India to an Ontario assembly plant, many animals make GM lands their home. Employees take notice, capturing images for the company’s annual wildlife habitat calendar and photo contest. Last year, nearly 350 photos were submitted from sites certified by the Wildlife Habitat Council. GM is committed to earning such certification at all of its manufacturing plants by 2020 as strengthening biodiversity helps reduce the company’s environmental impact.

Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, below are the stories behind the winning photos.

Oriental Garden Lizard from Talegaon, India

Photographer: Anupam Mondal

Anupam Mondal spotted this oriental garden lizard, also known as a changeable lizard, basking in the sun outside of the Parts Distribution Center in Talegaon. The lizards are often found by a row of hedges where insects gather.

Mondal’s inspiration for photography stems from his birdwatching hobby. His keen eye and knowledge help him spot and identify several creatures on the expansive Talegaon site, including frogs, crabs, millipedes, and vipers.

“By preserving nature and biodiversity, we ensure the existence of our ecosystem, which in turn ensures the existence of mankind,” said Mondal.

Malabar Banded Peacock Butterfly from India Proving Ground, India

Photographer: Kalirajan Subramanian

Kalirajan Subramanian captured this image of a Malabar banded peacock butterfly, a common species at GM’s India Proving Ground. Chameleons also frequent the green grasses of the property.

Subramanian said GM’s commitment to preserve the environment inspires him to do his part.

“Caring for our environment is very critical for current and future generations to lead a healthy lifestyle,” said Subramanian. “A cleaner environment leads to a healthier community.”

Tree Swallows from Customer Care and Aftersales Headquarters, Grand Blanc, Michigan

Photographer: Kelley Briggs

Kelley Briggs has monitored the habitat at the Customer Care & Aftersales headquarters since it started in 2008. Each week, she checks 16 nest boxes placed throughout the 46-acre site. Last April, Briggs photographed these tree swallows patiently waiting for her to finish checking their box.  

“The CCA wildlife habitat is a perfect environment for tree swallows to flourish as it provides shelter, water, adequate food and appropriate ground cover,” said Briggs.

Other wildlife spotted at the CCA headquarters include deer, owls, turkeys, painted turtles and foxes.

“Beyond being a welcoming home to species of all kinds, the wildlife habitat on our grounds benefits employees as well,” said Briggs. “By developing the property as a wildlife habitat we use fewer herbicides and pesticides, mow the lawn less and produce fewer carbon emissions overall.”

Ring-Billed Gull Juveniles from Global Propulsion Systems, Pontiac, Michigan

Photographer: Wai Nguyen

Wai Nguyen spotted hundreds of these ring-bill gull juveniles enjoying a late sunny afternoon in a usually car-filled parking lot.

“They were resting peacefully and I noticed one of them standing,” said Nguyen. “As I tried to take a picture of them from a distance, one bird noticed me and stared straight into my camera lens. I can’t even tell my kids to look into the camera!”   

The Global Propulsion Systems headquarters is in the middle of a city, rich in concrete with some natural wilderness around it.

“It is nice to see that we are putting effort to create and preserve land for natural habitats,” said Nguyen. “Having a natural habitat onsite helps make the work environment more enjoyable and relaxing.”