Saturday, October 16, 2010

Chasing Monkeys in the Andes

Yellow-tailed Woolly Monkey, Eastern Andes, PERU

A simple picture of a desperately rare animal.  This Peruvian monkey is one of the 25 most endangered primates on Earth, found only in a few scraps of habitat in the highland forests of the Andes. I spent the last week following them through the roughest terrain I have ever encountered, struggling to get a vantage point that gave me something other than  silhouettes shot straight up against a white sky.  If this picture works, it is because I managed to scramble up the steep mountainsides to get a level shot of the animal as he scampered across a moss-covered branch.

There are very few pictures of this species taken in the wild, and perhaps I could have taken better if I had stayed another week... and gotten lucky. As it was, I really only had a day and a half in their company - not nearly enough for in-depth coverage, but sufficient time to get a handful of nice shots of a spectacular animal still clinging to its vanishing habitat.

Nikon D3, 300mm f2.8 lens and 1.4X teleconverter

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