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In photos:

In photos: Capturing a legend

28 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • illegal wildlife trade
  • poaching
  • technology
  • tigers

Photojournalist Emmanuel Rondeau set out to do the impossible: capture the endangered Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) on camera.

With only around 100 tigers in the whole of Bhutan, Emmanuel’s mission was not an easy one.

Faced with torrential downpours, high altitudes and extreme terrain, Emmanuel was pushed to the limit on his three month quest.

Guided by WWF field staff and government rangers in Bhutan, Emmanuel trekked for days at a time to place eight custom made DSLR sensor camera rigs in a wildlife corridor (known as Corridor Eight ) connecting Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park in central Bhutan with both Jigme Dorji National Park and Wangchuck Centennial National Park in the north.

These biological corridors are lifelines for isolated populations of tigers and other wildlife. They connect national parks across Bhutan and play an essential role in allowing tigers and other species freedom to move between parks.

The hope was, if Emmanuel could prove wild tigers use these corridors, then the Bhutanese Government could potentially be persuaded to keep them safe for tigers and other wildlife.

At an altitude of over 11,000 ft, Emmanuel was required to re-visit his camera traps every week to replace batteries and check his images for the elusive tiger.

After several months… success!

But tigers weren’t the only species using these natural highways...

 

A Bengal tiger photographed by hidden sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

A Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) photographed by hidden sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight. Central Bhutan.

A Bengal tiger photographed by hidden sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

A Bengal tiger photographed by hidden sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

Tiger tail photographed by hidden sensor camera, in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

Tiger tail photographed by hidden sensor camera, in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

A musk deer photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

A musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster) photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

A takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei) photographed by sensor camera  in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

A takin (Budorcas taxicolor whitei) photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

An Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) or barking deer photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

An Indian muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) or barking deer photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

Wild boar photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan

Wild boar photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

Himalayan black bear photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

Himalayan black bear photographed by sensor camera in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis). Trongsa, Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis). Trongsa, Bhutan.

Portrait of a Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) in a tree, Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

Portrait of a Darjeeling woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis) in a tree, Bhutan.

Portrait of Himalayan forest in wildlife Corridor Eight, Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

Portrait of Himalayan forest in wildlife Corridor Eight, Bhutan.

Emmanuel Rondeau testing his sensor cameras in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan © Emmanuel Rondeau / WWF-UK

Emmanuel Rondeau testing his sensor cameras in wildlife Corridor Eight, Central Bhutan.

 

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Check out all the amazing work that goes into protecting tigers

 

Emmanuel also documented his attempts to capture a wild tiger on camera in film. Six episodes have been created by Emmanuel, with each episode looking at a different aspect of tiger conservation in Bhutan and the wider cultural significance that tigers play.
See films here.

 

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