sábado, 31 de marzo de 2012

Abierto toda la noche


En Panamá, durante la estación seca, el árbol balsa abre sus flores al ponerse el sol para alimentar a un caleidoscopio de especies.

Por Natalie Angier
Fotografías de Christian Ziegler

El club Ochroma es el bar de moda en la isla Barro Colorado, y yo he llegado demasiado pronto para el happy hour. Estoy en la Estación del Instituto Smithsonian de Investigaciones Tropicales. Son las cuatro menos cuarto de la tarde y me encuentro encaramada en una torre improvisada de 30 metros de altura frente a un majestuoso árbol Ochroma pyramidale que mide más o menos lo mismo. Más conocido como árbol balsa, Ochroma crece en muchos países de América Latina y es el árbol del que se obtiene la madera ligera usada en las maquetas ensamblables de dinosaurios, en los palitos de los polos y en la balsa Kon-Tiki que construyó Thor Heyerdahl para su expedición a través del Pacífico.


Las mejillas manchadas de polen de este kinkajú delatan que ha estado toda la noche bebiendo el néctar de un Ochroma, o árbol balsa.

www.naturphoto.de



Una zarigüeya lanuda bebe de un estanque de néctar, donde también hay dos abejas meliponas que irán a parar a sus fauces. Cada noche se abren entre 50 y 60 flores en un árbol balsa, y cada una de ellas produce unos 30 mililitros de néctar.

www.naturphoto.de



Una mantis religiosa en alerta máxima aguarda la llegada de los insectos que durante la noche acuden a recoger el polen de las flores de Ochroma. Al fondo brillan las luces de los barcos que navegan por el canal de Panamá.

www.naturphoto.de



Monos capuchinos de cara blanca, como esta madre y su cría, acuden cada día a sus árboles favoritos justo antes del anochecer.

www.naturphoto.de



Un destello azul y esmeralda advierte de la llegada de un colibrí.

www.naturphoto.de



Unas abejas africanas pululan alrededor de una flor de Ochroma justo después de ponerse el sol. Las abejas buscan el polen; si aterrizan por error en el estanque de néctar de una flor, probablemente se ahogarán. Su capacidad para ver con menos luz que las abejas meliponas nativas les proporciona una ventaja competitiva de noche. Mientras es de día, las abejas nativas a menudo bloquean el acceso a las flores.

www.naturphoto.de



Una joven boa constrictor acecha inmóvil desde otra flor (arriba); a la serpiente no le interesa el néctar de Ochroma, pero no le importaría nada merendarse a un colibrí.

www.naturphoto.de



Un murciélago lanceolado mayor se cierne sobre una flor de árbol balsa. Durante mucho tiempo se pensó que los murciélagos eran los polinizadores principales de Ochroma, pero recientes investigaciones indican que casi todo el trabajo lo hacen los mamíferos arborícolas.

www.naturphoto.de




Un olingo, pariente de menor tamaño del kinkajú (ambos son mamíferos del bosque lluvioso relacionados con los mapaches), agarra una flor maltrecha. Los kinkajúes a menudo ahuyentan a los olingos, pero estos, más rápidos, suelen quedarse en los árboles, lejos del alcance, hasta que las flores producen una nueva remesa de néctar.

www.naturphoto.de



Un colibrí incuba los huevos en un nido construido parcialmente con fibras del fruto del árbol balsa, que aparece una vez se marchitan las flores polinizadas.

www.naturphoto.de



Unas abejas africanas beben el néctar de una flor de Ochroma, mientras una avispa negra descansa sobre un pétalo.

www.naturphoto.de



Bajo la pálida luz de luna que precede al amanecer, un pequeño gecko en busca de insectos se apoya en una flor.

www.naturphoto.de


viernes, 30 de marzo de 2012

Pink elephants


Pink elephants were on parade in a Burmese zoo today and they were causing quite a splash.
The mother and baby clearly loved having a good wallow and tooted with delight when their caretaker dowsed them with the hose. Usually their skin is a reddish brown colour but they turn a light pink when wet. They also have fair eyelashes and toenails.
Despite their unusual appearance, the rare jumbos, which are officially known as white elephants, are not a distinct species to grey elephants nor are they albinos.
The animals are treasured in Buddhist countries where their appearance is said to bring good fortune and can herald political change.
And in Burma, after decades of military rule, political change does gradually appear to be taking place with the release of iconic opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi last year and elections due to take place in the capital this weekend.


Read more: Daily Mail 






South Africa Welcomes Prince Harry, A Brand New Pygmy Hippo


In the early hours of last Thursday morning, The Cango Wildlife Ranch in South Africa welcomed a new little fresh-faced baby. Hilda and Herbert, the Pygmy Hippopotamus pair had successfully mated and gifted the ranch with a beautiful 5.1kg healthy baby boy named Harry.

Hilda's water broke last Wednesday afternoon, creating much excitement and anticipation on the ranch. Immediately Hilda and Herbert were separated, making it easier for staff to observe Hilda. The Hippo pond was drained as well to eliminate the risk of her giving birth in the water. Ranch Director, Rob Hall, and Reptile Curator, Neal Martin monitored Hilda throughout Wednesday night...quietly watching her from a safe distance. After a long and uncomfortable night Rob and Neal dozed off just after 5h30 and awoke just less than an hour later, only to discover that Hilda had just given birth! They quietly observed the mother and baby for some time. Hilda was clearly exhausted!










Photo credits: Cango Wildlife Reserve


The Pygmy Hippopotamus' wild population is classified as critically endangered. There are fewer than 3000 left in the wild. They hail from West Africa, mainly confined to Liberia, with small numbers in the neighboring countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. So for Cango Wildlife Ranch, from Oudtshoorn South Africa, to successfully breed another endangered species is a very proud moment for all involved.
Read more beneath the fold.

Based on history, Hilda does not have the best track record when it comes to her 'motherly skills' - she could be a great mom, however, she unfortunately lacks the skill of feeding her babies. Just days earlier staff attempted to milk Hilda in order to collect colostrum, should they be in a situation were they have to remove the baby. Hilda made this very difficult and after collecting just a few milliliters staff realized they would have to make another plan. Colostrum (the first milk) is vitally important for a baby as it contains antibodies to protect the newborn against disease, as well as being lower in fat and higher in protein than ordinary milk. Luckily, cow’s colostrum is a fantastic replacement for hippo colostrum, which was great news as it was readily available.

The mother and calf were closely monitored, and after 5 hours of no feeding, the decision was made to pull the calf from its mom in the hopes of his survival. Harry was immediately weighed, wrapped in blankets and transported to the hand-rearing facility where he was fed. He is being hand-reared by very loving curator and caretaker, Toni Inggs. Hilda's delayed birth raised much concern at the time, but park officials are proud to announce that both mom and baby are doing exceptionally well and they hope to introduce them to the public in the near future.

Of course, giving birth can take quite a lot out of any animal, therefore Hilda is on a special diet which is rich in nutrients. Harry spent his first 3 days on colostrum, and has since been weaned onto his staple diet consisting of an ideal milk and water solution.
Harry was named after Prince Harry of Wales, for his true grit spirit, and for his love and passion for Africa and its wildlife.

Credits: ZooBorns

La difícil lucha por salvar a los orangutanes


Un nuevo libro muestra el esfuerzo de un grupo de ambientalistas que trabaja en la protección de orangutanes. La obra "The ape crusasers" (Los cruzados de los simios), de Sean Whyte, muestra imágenes del trabajo realizado en el sudeste asiático, donde 125 mil orangutanes fueron matados, capturados o vendidos en los últimos 40 años.


Sean cuenta que este bebé de orantugán probablemente perdió su madre debido a la expansión de la industria petrolera en Kepatang, Indonesia. 



El Centro pra la Protección de Orangutanes (COP, por sus siglas en inglés), fundado por el propio autor del libro, comenzó a funcionar en 2007 y en menos de cuatro años ya opera en un área de miles de hectáreas de bosque.



Para escribir el libro, Sean Whyte viajó con el COP por Kalinmatan y Java, en Indonesia, y docomentó la deforestacióni y el tráfico ilegal de animales salvajes.


Algunas fotos muestran historias dramáticas. Como la de Momo y Mimi, dos jóvenes orangutanes huérfanos que fueron encontrados presos en una casa de la ciudad de Sintang. Los animales se abrazaban desesperadamente el uno al otro.



Sean se muestra escéptico sobre el futuro de los oranguttanes. Asegura que algunas batallas contra el abuso contra los animales pueden ganarse, pero que la guerra se está perdiendo.


Fuente: BBC Mundo

jueves, 29 de marzo de 2012

Sob as ondas do mar


Um fotógrafo australiano especializado em fazer imagens de surfistas e mergulhadores retratou pessoas comuns nadando embaixo de ondas.
Recentemente, Mark Tipple havia fotografado surfistas caindo de suas pranchas. As fotografias eram tiradas debaixo das ondas, capturando o momento em que o surfista mergulhava no mar. Na nova série de fotos, Tipple registrou banhistas mergulhando sob as ondas.
"Nas fotos anteriores, eu estava mais sob a influência do surfe. Quando eu comecei [o trabalho], eu estava a procura de um lado diferente do surfe que não estava sendo visto antes, mas agora o meu foco são nadadores, já que para mim é mais interessante ver as pessoas embaixo d'água sem as pranchas de surfe", disse Tipple à BBC Brasil.
Tanto as imagens dos nadadores quanto as dos surfistas fazem parte de um projeto batizado de Clique theunderwaterproject.com.


O fotógrafo australiano Mark Tipple retratou banhistas nadando embaixo das ondas, como parte de um projeto especial. Foto: Mark Tipple



Anteriormente, dentro do projeto The Underwater Project, ele já havia fotografado imagens de surfistas caindo na água. Foto: Mark Tipple



Tipple conta que quando começou a trabalhar com fotojornalismo, a imprensa estava mais interessada em fotos de celebridades ou de histórias dramáticas. Foto: Mark Tipple



O fotógrafo tinha interesse em promover fotos de trabalhos humanitários, mas segundo ele não havia muito espaço para esse tipo de trabalho. Foto: Mark Tipple



Tipple resolveu então se dedicar a uma antiga paixão, que são fotos de surfe e do mar, na esperança de que esse tipo de trabalho fosse ajudar a vender suas fotos de trabalhos humanitários. Foto: Mark Tipple



O fotógrafo conta que suas imagens de banhistas e surfistas fizeram muito sucesso, e ele acabou se dedicando a este tipo de retrato. Foto: Mark Tipple



Agora, ele tenta aliar suas duas paixões, ao vincular seu trabalho a ONGs que promovem a conservação da vida marinha. Foto: Mark Tipple



As imagens do projeto do fotógrafo podem ser vistas no seu site, em theunderwaterproject.com  Foto: Mark Tipple



Ele vem divulgando imagens do projeto desde 2009, mas algumas das novas fotos da série foram feitas este ano. Foto: Mark Tipple



O fotógrafo conhece bem o mundo do surfe, já que passou vários anos viajando pelas praias da Austrália. Foto: Mark Tipple


Fonte: BBC Brasil

The Nature's Best Photography Awards Winners


More than 20,000 images from photographers in 47 countries were reviewed by a judging panel made up of experts in photography, science, and conservation. The award-winners in the 48-print exhibition include the Grand Prize, the Conservation Photographer of the Year, and the Youth Photographer of the Year, as well as finalists selected in 15 categories.

Winners from the Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards, one of the world's most prestigious nature photography competitions, will be on display on the second floor of the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History beginning March 30, 2012.

Dedicated in memory of the accomplished photographer and conservation advocate, Windland Smith Rice, this awards program recognizes the extraordinary dedication and talent of nature photographers from around the world and seeks to build upon her legacy in engaging and motivating Earth stewardship through the art of photography. The annual photo competition is open to the public and encourages submissions from photographers at all levels of expertise: pros, amateurs, and youth.

Learn more about the history of the competition, and get the guidelines and photo tips on the website www.NaturesBestPhotography.org

Here are some of the stunning portraits of animals, plant life, oceans, and landscapes from the Windland Awards competition, which include Canadian photographers, Jess Findlay, of Burnaby, British Columbia, and Michael Lambie of Kingston, Ontario.



YOUTH PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR WINNER

Jess Findlay
Red Fox
Cascade Mountains, Washington, USA
"Even during the coldest snowstorm, the red fox can stay warm by curling up on open ground. Wrapped in his white-tipped tail, this fox’s cheeky expression made him look as if he had just been rudely awakened from his daytime nap."

For more about Jess Findlay, of Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, visit www.jessfindlay.com



SMALL WORLD SPECTACULAR WINNER
Robin Moore

Vine Snake
Choco, Colombia
"I was lying on my stomach to frame a shot of this vine snake when, as if on cue, a fly buzzed down and used the snake's head as a landing pad. As soon as I clicked the shutter, the fly departed."

For more about Robin Moore of Washington, DC, USA, visit www.robindmoore.com



ANIMAL ANTICS WINNER
Andy Rouse

Grizzly Bear Cub
Katmai National Park, Alaska, USA
"It was quite a memorable experience when a female grizzly bear left her precious cubs on the riverbank near me as she went fishing for salmon. The cubs were great fun to observe and I managed to catch this one mid-scratch; he looks like he was either having a bad day or peeking at me."

For more about Andy Rouse of Cardiff, Wales, UK, visit www.andyrouse.co.uk



ZOOS & AQUARIUMS WINNER
Barbara von Hoffmann

Rothschild Giraffes
Hogle Zoo, Salt Lake City, Utah‚ USA
"At the Hogle Zoo, I spotted a giraffe with her one-week-old calf. It was heart-warming to witness the mother affectionately nestling her head into the arched neck of her newborn."

For more about Barbara von Hoffmann of Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA visit www.vonhoffmannphotography.com



CONSERVATION PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR WINNER
Thomas D. Mangelsen

Polar Bear and Cubs
Manitoba, Canada
"In a bed of soft snow and frost-dusted spruce, a polar bear family takes an afternoon nap cuddled up together. But after being woken up by its squirming, sleepy sibling, this polar bear cub is wide-awake and ready to play. Greeting the wintry world, he waves his soft paw from the warm haven of his mother’s arms."

For more about Thomas D. Mangelsen of Jackson, Wyoming, USA, visit www.mangelsen.com



ENDANGERED SPECIES WINNER
Michael Lambie

Proboscis Monkeys
Borneo, Malaysia
"I was able to watch several troops of monkeys at the Labuk Bay Sanctuary. This was an unusual scene; it seemed the two juveniles were being brought to heel after incurring the wrath of an adult male."

For more about Michael Lambie of Kingston, Ontario, Canada, email mlambie@soundquest.ca



GRAND PRIZE WINNER
Federico Veronesi

Cape Buffalo Fight
Lake Nakuru National Park, Kenya
"I watched these bulls fighting for hours under an overcast sky. To emphasize the texture of their skin and horns, I framed my shots from different angles and approaches. This tight composition is the image I prefer, as it captures the power and the struggle of the confrontation."

For more about Federico Veronesi of Nairobi, Kenya, visit www.federicoveronesi.com



OCEANS WINNER
Nuno Sá

Blue Shark
Off Faial Island, Azores, Portugal
"Diving into the blue, I watched a torpedo-shaped shadow rapidly approaching from deep, dark waters. As it came closer, its long pectoral fins gave it a form that reminded me of a jet plane; it was a six-foot-long blue shark."
For more about Nuno Sá of Azores, Portugal, visit www.photonunosa.com



WILDLIFE WINNER
Florian Schulz

Polar Bear Cub
Barents Sea, Norway
"During an Arctic expedition, I observed a polar bear and her cubs living on pack ice far from land. Incredibly inquisitive animals, the young bears learn quickly. This cub was intrigued by its reflection and was studying it with great interest."

For more about Florian Schulz of Wilhelmsdorf, Germany, visit www.visionsofthewild.com



AFRICAN WILDLIFE WINNER
Lee Slabber

African Lion and Cub
Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Kalahari Desert, South Africa
"I had been following a pride, focusing on one youngster who was always causing trouble. In this image, his father had been trying to sleep. The cub kept climbing over the adult’s head until the lion growled to warn it to back off. In a moment of brave defiance, the youngster just glared back at his dad."

For more about Lee Slabber of Cape Town, South Africa, visit www.wildlifephotosafaris.com



BIRDS WINNER
Michael Rosenbaum
Roseate Spoonbills
Smith Oaks Rookery, High Island, Texas, USA
"In this photo the bird coming in to land was being warned off by a spoonbill already occupying the tree branch. The interaction may be two birds engaged in combat, but the soft color and graceful lines of the composition make the behavior appear almost like a kiss."

For more about Michael Rosenbaum of Delray Beach, Florida, USA, visit www.michaelrosenbaumphotography.com



ART IN NATURE WINNER
David Hall

Goby on Soft Coral
Pantar Island, Indonesia
"The shy, inch-long goby darted around its host soft coral, changing location every few seconds. I pre-focused my camera for an area where I had briefly seen the fish entirely in the open and waited. It returned to the spot long enough for me to quickly make two exposures."

For more about David Hall of Woodstock, New York, USA, visit www.seaphotos.com
2012 CALL FOR ENTRIES! For a chance to take your photos on the journey from the wild to the walls of the Smithsonian, go to www.NaturesBestPhotography.org


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