The rams of Tien Shan
Using a dry stream as cover, Udayan crept towards the argali rams for a closer look. But he was not the only observer. He surprised a pack of six wolves just a few metres away. They fled in all directions, as did the rams. Luckily, Udayan already had his shot, framed against the great Tien Shan Mountains.
Faster, stronger and able to flee quickly from predators, male argali reside on lower slopes where food is more abundant. The females, favouring security, retreat to the higher rocky cliffs with their young. The two herds come together after the onset of winter in time for the rut.
Canon EOS 5D Mark III; 500mm f4 lens; 1/8000 sec at f4; ISO 400.
Sarychat-Ertash Reserve, Tien Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan
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Udayan Rao Pawar, India
It was the gift of a pair of binoculars that turned Udayan into a naturalist, and the gift of a camera that transformed his interest into a passion. Udayan hopes to promote the cause of conservation through his photography. In 2013 he was named Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year.