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Cool Relief Photograph by Joel Sartore
Caribou in the central Arctic herd—one of four herds on the North Slope—crowd a coastal ice floe to escape from mosquitoes, which can seriously drain a caribou's energy. The caribou not only lose blood, but also crucial feeding time because of the insects. In summer, caribou mass on the nutrient-rich tundra of the coastal plain for grazing and calving. But because the plain covers oil reserves, it also beckons an industry intent on drilling. Conservationists worry that increased drilling and the infrastructure that accompanies it may disrupt caribou migrations.
Camera: Nikon F6 Film Type: Fujichrome Velvia 50 Lens: Nikon 70-200mm, f/2.8 VR Speed and F-Stop: 1/250 @ f/4
Weather Conditions: Sunny Time of Day: 10 a.m. Lighting Techniques: Natural Light Special Equipment or Comments: I used a light, slow-moving airplane to shoot straight down from an altitude that didn't frighten the animals.