Sleepy Macaque

Sleepy Macaque

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Resting in a tree in Tonsai, Thailand.

Grooming Macaques

Grooming Macaques

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Some sleepy looking Macaques in Tonsai, Thailand.

Elephant Eye

Elephant Eye

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The eye of one of the adult elephants at the Elephant Nature Park satellite site. The elephant tourism business in Thailand is big money and can be a shady and brutal business. The elephants can often be treated terribly.

However, there are some business that are reputable. You should never ride an elephant. The training for the elephants to allow people to ride them often involve beatings and other harmful practices. If visiting an elephant tourism site, thorough research is essential, to make sure you are not supporting a place that is harming elephants.

Near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Male elephant

Male elephant

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A male Asian elephant, (Elephas maximus indicus).

Khao Yai National Park is one of the largest un-interrupted wild elephant habitats left in Thailand. It is part of the larger Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai forest complex encompassing five different protected areas.

Male elephant (black and white)

Male elephant (black and white)

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The Asian Elephant Elephas maximus indicus, weighs up to 11,000 lbs and can be up to 11.5 feet tall and 21 feet long.

Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.

Elephants in the grassland

Elephants in the grassland

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A group of Asian Elephants in Khao Yai National Park in Thailand.

The Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) is an endangered species numbering less than 50,000, with 30% of those in captivity.

Groups typically consist of 6-7 females with the oldest female matriarch leading.

Elephants at dusk

Elephants at dusk

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Just before nightfall a wild boar spooked this group of Asian elephants and they took off running and trumpeting.

Threats to this endangered species include poaching, lack of genetic diversity, capture for domestic use, and habitat loss.

Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

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In the cold of a December morning I crept into the small wooden hut before dawn and waited. Just enough room for me and my camera gear, there was a hole in the wall big enough for a camera lens to peer through. In the early grey light this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) perched and sat, contemplating who knows what.

Klamath Basin, California.

The Sentinel

The Sentinel

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Perched like a watchman, this Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) waits. Every winter 800-1000 bald eagles congregate on the frozen landscape of the Klamath Basin, a wetlands and wildlife refuge. The Eagles are attracted to and prey upon the thousands of other water fowl who stop over here on their migrations.

Takeoff

Takeoff

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This Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) takes off in a snow storm. Once endangered by hunting and pesticides, Bald Eagles have flourished under protection.

Klamath Basin, California.

Dinosaurs Roam this Earth

Dinosaurs Roam this Earth

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These Herons stalking prey in the Arcata Marsh made me feel as if I'd gone back in time to when Dinosaurs still roamed this earth.

California

Austral Parakeets fighting

Austral Parakeets fighting

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The world's southernmost ranging Parakeet, (Enicognathus ferrugineus), is found here in Parque Nacional Los Glaciares in Patagonian Argentina.

Released Bighorn

Released Bighorn

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This female Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) takes off after being released into its new territory.

Owens River Valley, California.

Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Blindfolded

Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Blindfolded

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This male adult Bighorn is held by two volunteers. Blindfolded and hobbled, the sheep is relaxed as long as it is held and cannot see. After measurements and samples are taken, he will be relocated to a new area in hopes to increase the population's range. From these efforts the sheep's number and range have been increasing, but more work is needed before they can be removed from the Endangered Species List.

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

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It was a magical morning that I captured this Snowy Egret (Egretta thula) on camera with the light just right as it waded in the shallows of the mud flats searching for small fish.

Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz, California.

Raven and Bridal Veil Fall

Raven and Bridal Veil Fall

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The Raven (Corvus corax) posed for me at this classic view point of Bridal Veil fall in Yosemite National Park.

California

Pack Horse at Lago Pehoe

Pack Horse at Lago Pehoe

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In the Torres Del Paines National Park lies the ultra blue waters of Lago Pehoe. Gauchos and their horses roam the grasslands near the lake.

Chile

Mule Deer

Mule Deer

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These Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) try to fade into their surroundings in the Klamath Basin, California.

Baby elephant in the forest

Baby elephant in the forest

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While I experienced conflicting emotions about the status of these elephants as a tourist attraction the baby elephant surely captured my heart as it stumbled about, still unsure how to use it’s own body.

Near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Momma elephant and her calph

Momma elephant and her calph

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While these elephant tourism sites are a good interim solution for allowing elephants that might otherwise be killed to live out their lives, it doesn’t do anything to help the species in the wild as a whole.

Elephants can never ben rehabilitated into the wild. The real problem is habitat loss, fragmentation, and poaching. In the densely populated and small southeastern Asian countries that these elephants call home their is simply not enough wild habitat left.

Near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Baby elephant

Baby elephant

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This elephant was about 2 years old and was one of the elephants at a non-riding elephant experience trip in Northern Thailand. The elephants at this camp were rescued or retired from the logging industry in neighboring Cambodia.

Near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Elephant Bathing

Elephant Bathing

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The end of the visit at the Elephant Nature Park’s tour involved the elephants cooling of in the river and being splashed by the people in the tour group. While it certainly seemed that the elephants enjoyed getting in the river, the splashing seemed to be more for the participants, the elephants seemed indifferent. Who knows though, maybe they liked it.

Near Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Coyote and Bison

Coyote and Bison

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The All American Trickster, the Coyote (Canis latrans) can't do any harm to this group of American Bison (Bison bison). 

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Bison Herd

Bison Herd

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The plains seem to stretch on forever in Badlands National Park. This herd of American Bison (Bison bison) have it all to themselves.

Red Headed Trogon

Red Headed Trogon

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Harpactes erythrocephalus

Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird

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A male species of Sialia currucoides. 

Castle Rocks State Park, Idaho.

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

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Perched in front of its aerie, this Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), had at least one chick that could be heard begging for food. Castle Rock State Park, California.

Iguana

Iguana

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Khao Yai National Park, Thailand.

Fijian Crab

Fijian Crab

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Fiji Islands.

Tortoise

Tortoise

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Santa Cruz, California.

Snowy White Tails

Snowy White Tails

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White Tailed Deer, (Odocoileus virginianus).

Mato Tipila (Devils Tower National Monument), Wyoming.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn

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This was my first spotting of the North American Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana). Commonly called an Antelope, they are actually the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae.

Northern Utah

Brown Pelican flying

Brown Pelican flying

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Pelecanus Occidentalis flying gracefully in blue skies.

Santa Cruz, California.

American Kestrel

American Kestrel

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North America’s littlest falcon, the American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) packs a predator’s fierce intensity into its small body.

Klamath Basin, California.

Sea otter relaxing

Sea otter relaxing

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This Southern Sea Otter, also known as a California Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris nereis) appears to be laying back and soaking up the early morning rays. Listed as an endangered species in 1977, the otter has rebounded in recent years with the 2016 population reaching 3,272 individuals. And for the first time, the otter numbers have exceeded 3,090, the total that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says is needed to be met for three years in a row before they can be considered for removal from the endangered species list.

Moss Landing, California.

Sea Lion Napping

Sea Lion Napping

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The California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus) takes a nap at the popular surf spot, Steamer Lane, in Santa Cruz, California.

Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers

Yellow Bellied Sap Suckers

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A mother (Sphyrapicus varius) tends to her chick nested in a cavity of an Aspen Tree.

City of Rocks National Reserve, Idaho.

Western Grebe

Western Grebe

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Aechmophorus occidentalis glides through water that is colored greens and blues from the reflection of nearby docked boats.

Moss Landing harbor, California

American Bison at Sunset

American Bison at Sunset

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Blood orange sunset and Bison bison silhouette.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

American Bison youth

American Bison youth

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A small to midsize Bison, (Bison Bison). 

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.

Chilean Flamingos

Chilean Flamingos

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Phoenicopterus chilensis line up in the lakes clear waters near El Calafate, Patagonia, Argentina. This species is listed as Near Threatened because it is suspected that it will undergo a moderately rapid population decline over the next three generations owing to egg-harvesting, hunting, disturbance and the degradation of its habitat.

Butterfly on Flower

Butterfly on Flower

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Banteay Srey Butterfly Center. Siam Reap, Cambodia.

Jellyfish

Jellyfish

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Elkhorn Slough, California.

Coyote Trap

Coyote Trap

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I came across this strange scene in the Eastern Sierra. I'm not sure what happened here, but the image captivated me. Though the common North American Coyote (Canis latrans) has been continually hunted and trapped for the past ~200 years this persistent and iconic species continues to thrive.

Sheep in Helicopter

Sheep in Helicopter

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These three endangered Sierra Nevada Bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis sierrae) get a brief helicopter ride to waiting scientists. They are measured, weighed, and blood and stool samples are taken. Then they are transported to a new area, all in the hopes that this endangered species gains a new foothold in it's home range.

Owens River Valley, California.

Animal Trade Sign

Animal Trade Sign

In recent years, campaigns have sprouted up to stop the illegal animal trade in Bangkok’s Chatuchak market. Besides a crackdown on vendors, one such effort are these signs spread throughout the market urging customers not to purchase these animals.

Yellow Crested Cockatoo

Yellow Crested Cockatoo

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Cacatua sulphurea is a critically endangered species with estimated less than 3,000 individuals globally. This has largely been due to the pet trade and de-forestation.

I came across this individual in the pet market section of Bangkok’s Chatuchak market.

Blue and Yellow Macaw

Blue and Yellow Macaw

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The owner of this pet shop had no problems of me taking pictures with his social macaw, however when I ventured inside and began taking pictures of a pair of grey parrots, an endangered species, I was quickly asked to leave.

Chatuchak market, Bangkok, Thailand.

Asian Arowana

Asian Arowana

Scleropages formosus is an endangered species that is commonly found in Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market. The entire reason for it’s endangered status results from it’s desirability in the aquatic pet trade. I saw this fish for sale for up to 80,000 Thai baht or about $2400.

Indian Star Tortoise

Indian Star Tortoise

Indian Star Tortoises (Geochelone elegans) in a cage at Bangkok’s Chatuchak Market. Listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) this tortoise is one of the most common found at Chatuchak. The vulnerable listing means that the species is in a dangerous decline, likely to become endangered if pressures are not relieved. In this case it is largely the pet trade that is driving it’s decline.

Spider

Spider

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Appearing to float in mid air this hand sized spider was rumored to catch small birds in its web.

Tonsai, Thailand.

Blue Headed LIzard

Blue Headed LIzard

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Nam Pha Pa Yai, Thailand.

Gecko on a Fence Post

Gecko on a Fence Post

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Tonsai, Thailand.

Siamese Crocodile

Siamese Crocodile

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Crocodylus siamensis is a critically endangered species. This particular individual is located within one of the rivers in Khao Yai National Park in Northern Thailand. He was re-located there a number of years ago. Hopefully in the future, more can be relocated so this species can become established here.

Commercial hunting for the skin trade is the biggest factor in why this animal has become nearly extirpated.

Marching to Sea

Marching to Sea

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These Magellanic Penguins, (Spheniscus magellanicus), make their way to the sea. I couldn't help but reminded of the Beatles album cover, Abbey Road.

Punta Tombo Penguin colony, Chubut Province, Argentina.

Chicks in the Nest

Chicks in the Nest

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Two young Magellanic Penguin chicks (Spheniscus magellanicus) take a rest in their burrow.

Punta Tombo, Chubut province, Argentina.

Mother Penguin and chick

Mother Penguin and chick

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Mother penguin rests her head protectively on her chick. (Spheniscus magellanicus). 

Punta Tombo, Chubut province, Argentina.

Harbor Seals Snoozing

Harbor Seals Snoozing

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These 5 Harbor Seals, (Phoca vitulina) take a nap on a dock in Moss Landing, California.

Dreadlock Bison

Dreadlock Bison

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Every spring the American bison (Bison bison) sheds it's fur. It's very itchy and they scratch themselves on whatever they can find.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Burrowing Owl

Burrowing Owl

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This Black Tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is reluctant to share its territory with this Burrowing Owl, (Athene cunicularia), which often makes it's home in old Praire Dog burrows, sometimes returning year after year.

Badlands National Park, South Dakota.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

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Ardea alba slowly stalking prey in the sunrise reflected shallows near Moss Landing, California.

Snow Geese

Snow Geese

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Blending into the white overcast skies these snow geese fly in formation over the frozen wonderland of wildlife that is the Klamath Basin.

California.

The North American Pronghorn

The North American Pronghorn

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Antilocapra americana roams the hills and plateaus of the San Rafael Swell in Utah.

Pronghorn Pair

Pronghorn Pair

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This pair of Pronghorns (Antilocapra americana) was wandering the brushy plateaus of the San Rafael Swell.

Utah

Spiral Shell

Spiral Shell

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Spiral patterns are found everywhere in nature from the microcosm to the macrocosm. This tiny shell was about the size of my thumbnail.

KareKare Beach, New Zealand