Photos: Chinese leopard wins camera trap contest

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
November 27, 2012



A young male leopard in China's Shuishui River Reserve is this year's contest winner. Photo by: Zhou Zhefeng/BBC Wildlife Magazine.
A young male leopard (Panthera pardus) in China's Shuishui River Reserve is this year's contest winner. Photo by: Zhou Zhefeng/BBC Wildlife Magazine.

The third annual BBC Wildlife Magazine Camera Trap Photo of the Year contest has produced some stunning and surprising images, including a snow leopard sticking its tongue out, a rare giant pangolin, and wrestling monitor lizards. But the winner this year was the perfect shot of a young leopard in China.

"Our project researches leopard distribution in the forest reserves of Shanxi Province. In the Shuishui River Reserve, images from a camera-trap on a known leopard path have so far enabled us to identify four individuals, including this youngster," said photographer Zhou Zhefeng of his winning photo, which won his conservation program nearly $5,000 in prize money.

Photos appear in the new issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Photos appear in the new issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine.
This photo, along with other winners and runner-ups, are featured in the December issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine, which is on sale now.

Camera trap photography is a unique art form. Used most often be researchers to study rare and cryptic animals, camera traps take photos of wildlife when humans are absent. These specially designed cameras use motion sensor or infrared to snap photos and have been used to document never-before-seen behavior, catalogue wildlife populations, and even discover unknown species. However, years of wonderful—and often scientifically important—photos has increasingly led photographers to recognize camera trap photos as an art form in itself.

Split into three categories: portraits, behavior, and new discoveries, other winners in the contest include the rare image of a Bengal tiger feeding on a rhino carcass in India (behavior) and the photo of a small cat known as the oncilla in Bolivia (new discoveries). Both of these photos won over $1,500 for their respective conservation projects. Money prizes are donated by the World Land Trust and Páramo Directional Clothing Systems.



A horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) in Guatemala. Not a guan at all, this bird is the last survivor of a family of birds. It's listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: Javier Rivas/BBC Wildlife Magazine.
A horned guan (Oreophasis derbianus) in Guatemala. Not a guan at all, this bird is the last survivor of a family of birds. It's listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: Javier Rivas/BBC Wildlife Magazine.



A Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) feeding on the carcass of an Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in India. Photo by: Sandesh Kadur/BBC Wildlife Magazine.
A Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) feeding on the carcass of an Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in India. Photo by: Sandesh Kadur/BBC Wildlife Magazine.



The little known moonrat (Echinosorex gymnura) photographed in Malaysian Borneo. Although it looks like a weird, white rat these animals are actually more closely related to hedgehogs. The moonrat is the only species in its genus, Echinosorex. Although imperiled by deforestation, it is currently listed as Least COncern by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: A.J. Hearn and J. Ross/BBC Wildlife Magazine.
The little known moonrat (Echinosorex gymnura) photographed in Malaysian Borneo. Although it looks like a weird, white rat these animals are actually more closely related to hedgehogs. The moonrat is the only species in its genus, Echinosorex. Although imperiled by deforestation, it is currently listed as Least COncern by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: A.J. Hearn and J. Ross/BBC Wildlife Magazine.



Wolf looking down onto traffic from a wildlife overpass. This photo was selected as one of the editor's favorites. Photo by: Mirjam Barrueto/BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Wolf looking down onto traffic from a wildlife overpass. This photo was selected as one of the editor's favorites. Photo by: Mirjam Barrueto/BBC Wildlife Magazine.



Spitting sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) in India. This species is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: WWF-India/BBC Wildlife Magazine.
Spitting sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) in India. This species is considered Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. Photo by: WWF-India/BBC Wildlife Magazine.















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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (November 27, 2012).

Photos: Chinese leopard wins camera trap contest .

http://news.mongabay.com/2012/1127-hance-bbc-camera-trap-contest.html