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Balancing Act Photograph by Christian Ziegler
Though generally ground dwellers, ocelots are adept climbers when they need to be. This cat is easing across a liana—a thick vine that can function as an aerial walkway through the rain forest—perhaps hunting a sloth, a tree-dwelling favorite of ocelots on Barro Colorado Island. Highly adaptable to a variety of ecosystems, ocelots have maintained a strong presence throughout the Americas even as bigger predators like the jaguar and puma have suffered precipitous decline. But biologists warn that if habitat destruction and illegal hunting continue, the ocelots' future could be in doubt.
Camera: Canon EOS Digital Rebel Film Type: Digital Lens: 15mm Speed and F-Stop: 1/8 @ f/8
Weather Conditions: Very moist Time of Day: Early evening Lighting Techniques: Three strobes Special Equipment or Comments: The digital camera trap I used for this photograph was specially designed for this project. It was triggered by an infrared-based device called a Trailmaster. If the animal breaks the beam, it tells the camera to take a picture. The camera was protected from the humidity in a waterproof box and hooked up to three flashes and an external energy supply.