Thursday, October 7, 2010

Photos from the Vault - Mountain Caribou

Another photograph from my so-called 'vault' of wildlife images. 

A big mountain caribou bull in the Tonquin Valley, Jasper National Park

I took this image on a 7-day backpacking trip I did into the Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park in 2007.  It was the first time I had ever backpacked with my big lens and extra camera body, but I did cheat a little bit...I stayed in a lodge that provided my food and a little cabin, so I substituted the weight of the tent and food for the weight of the big lens and extra camera body.  It was a poor trade, overall, as my pack still weighed almost 70 pounds!

The mountain caribou in the Tonquin got hammered by wolves last year and the herd has now joined the rest of Jasper's mountain caribou in a precipitous population decline that biologists are trying to figure out before it's too late.  It's easy to blame it on the wolves, but the fact is that wolves and caribou have co-existed for millenia, so there have to be other factors at play, and that's what the biologists are trying to uncover.


PS - I am now back in the office and will have updates tomorrow from my Grizzly Bear Tours in BC the past two weeks!  Over 10,000 images to process of grizzlies, eagles, and salmon.

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Anonymous Marty said...

Beautiful image, John. I am trying to guess the focal length you actually used for the capture. From the perspective, it does not appear to be taken with a long tele (400, 500, or 600mm with/without converter). But that would mean you would have to be pretty close to the animal to get it that size in the frame. Just curious.

October 7, 2010 at 11:42 PM  
Blogger JohnEMarriott said...

Marty, I used a 28-70 mm lens for this particular shot, which allowed for the different perspective. I was indeed fairly close to the caribou, hidden behind a small tree in my camouflage gear.

October 8, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

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