Nicolas Dory Photography

Montier-en-Der 2014

August 2nd, 2014
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I am pleased to announce that one of my image of a Yukon Black Wolf has just been nominated in the 2014 International Wildlife and Nature Photography Festival of Montier-en-Der (France). Final results of the photo competition will be announced next November during the festival.
See the results on the festival’s website: www.festiphoto-montier.org

Black Wolf - Yukon Territory, Canada

Fortymile Caribou Herd

April 14th, 2014
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The Fortymile Caribou Herd hasn’t been seen in its past stomping grounds of the Yukon Territory for decades. Seeing them this winter in the Tombstone Territorial Park was a very encouraging news for the herd. Historically, the Fortymile Caribou Herd is most noted for its extreme decline in numbers. The estimated herd numbers declined from about 260,000 caribou in the early 1920s to 6,000 in 1973. The herd now reaches about 50,000 members again and continues to expand into the Yukon.

Here are a selection of pictures of the Fortymile Caribou Herd grazing in the Tombstone Territorial Park from this past winter:

Forty Mile Caribou Herd

Forty Mile Caribou Herd grazing in the Tombstone Territorial Park

Tombstone Territorial Park

A scenic view of Tombstone Territorial Park in winter

Forty Mile Caribou Herd

A Barren-ground bull caribou walking ahead of the rest of the group in the subarctic tundra.

When caribou are moving along and one is alarmed, it rears up on its hind feet, whirls about, and dashes off. When a caribou does this, scent from the interdigital gland is deposited on the ground. Every caribou that comes to the spot will sniff the scent and then became excited and alarmed.

Jumping Caribou

Jumping caribou

Forty Mile Caribou Herd

Barren-ground Caribou from the Forty Mile Herd

Forty Mile Caribou Herd

Forty Mile Caribou Herd in the Tombstone mountain range

Forty Mile Caribou Herd

Forty Mile Caribou Herd in the wide open valley of the Blackstone River

Caribou on blue ice

A young bull caribou walking on the blue ice of a frozen lake

Caribou in the sunset light

Caribou in the sunset light

Yukon Wolf

April 11th, 2014
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After almost 6 years in the Yukon, I encountered wolves only two or three times and always very far in the distance, without being able to capture these precious moments. Two weeks ago, I finally got my chance to photograph a beautiful Yukon Wolf for around 10 minutes and almost too close to take pictures with my 500mm lens! What a magical moment that was!

Yukon Black Wolf  — Yukon Territory, Canada

Yukon Black Wolf — Yukon Territory, Canada

The Yukon Wolf (Canis lupus pambasileus), also known as the Alaskan Wolf is a subspecies of the gray wolf. It’s among the few wolves in the world that still live in a natural ecosystem, that includes other large predators and prey species. Yukon wolves are the key predator controlling and keeping Yukon moose and caribou populations in check over the territory.

Yukon Black Wolf — Yukon Territory, Canada

Yukon Black Wolf moving cautiously on the snow — Yukon Territory, Canada

Yukon Black Wolf  — Yukon Territory, Canada

Yukon Black Wolf — Yukon Territory, Canada

Porcupine Caribou Herd – Fall Migration Expedition

September 6th, 2013
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Last month I went canoeing with a friend the Eagle, Bell and Porcupine rivers from Eagle Plains to Old Crow in the Northern Yukon Territory. This was our first canoe trip in total autonomy in the remote wilderness and it went really well! We paddle 380km of rivers north of the Arctic Circle in 10 days. The principal goal of the expedition was to observe the fall migration of the Porcupine Caribou Herd, which is the 5th largest herd of migratory caribou in North America. The herd’s total home range is approximately 260,000 km2, between Kaktovik, Alaska to Aklavik, NWT to Dawson City, Yukon.

Bell River (Yukon Territory, Canada)

Bell River (Yukon Territory, Canada)

The expedition was a formative experience for both of us as we became part of the rivers that we paddled for a short time. That was also a success! After 7 days of paddling through the pristine wilderness of the Eagle and Bell rivers, we finally found hundreds of caribou on the banks of the Porcupine River.

Porcupine Caribou swimming

Porcupine Caribou herd swimming across the Porcupine River during their annual fall migration in the Old Crow area in the northern Yukon.

To see more pictures of the caribou migration, please visit my Portfolio.

Slim’s River West – Kluane National Park

July 3rd, 2013
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Last weekend, some friends and I went for a gorgeous backpacking trip in Kluane National Park and Reserve where we completed the 70km Ä’äy Chù (Slim’s River) West Trail in 3 days. The trail follows a wide valley for 22.5km (14 mile) to a primitive camp at the base of Observation Mountain. From there it’s a steep route to the summit where you can have an incredible view on the enormous Kaskawulsh Glacier and the surrounding snow capped peaks of the Saint Elias Mountains.

SlimsRiverWest

The trail has a few creek crossings which require a bit of balancing as there are no bridges or stepping stones. Some of the creeks can be difficult to cross in the afternoon or after it has rained. As each day we started hiking early in the morning, we didn’t have any real difficulties to cross them. A Park Ranger told us that on the previous day two groups of hikers had to turn back on Bullion Creek due to high waters.

Crossing Bullion Creek - Slim's River West

Crossing Bullion Creek – Slim’s River West

Memorial to a hiker killed by Grizzly in 1996

Memorial to a hiker killed by Grizzly in 1996

Slim's River West - Kluane National Park

Slim’s River West – Kluane National Park

Watching the shores of the Slims River

Watching the shores of the Slims River

Mosquitoes were very bad near wetland/marshy areas which makes you hike a little faster to cross the area.

Arctic Cottongrass along the Slims River

Arctic Cottongrass along the Slims River

A good surprise was waiting for us when we arrived at the base camp, we found a young lynx asleep near the outhouse. I spent 15 amazing minutes watching it hunting down arctic ground squirrels in the area. I managed to take some pictures with my Canon 70-200mm, too bad I didn’t carry my 300mm lens with me to better capture this instant… but my backpack was already overloaded with some other photo equipment and the heavy bear canister provided by Parks Canada!

Canadian Lynx - Slim's River West

Canadian Lynx – Slim’s River West

Base camp located at the km 22.5 post

Base camp located at the km 22.5 post

Camping with Mount Maxwell in the background

Camping with Mount Maxwell in the background

Slims River and its braided channels with Mount Maxwell in the background

Slims River and its braided channels with Mount Maxwell in the background

The next day we made our way to Observation Mountain, which is supposed to be a 8 to 10 hours hike depending on the weather conditions. We made it in 13 hours including a two hours break on the open plateau contemplating the amazing Kaskawulsh Glacier.

Climbing up Observation Mountain

Climbing up Observation Mountain

Mountainside close up

Mountainside close up

The enormous Kaskawulsh Glacier and the surrounding snow capped peaks of the Saint Elias Mountains.

The enormous Kaskawulsh Glacier and the surrounding snow capped peaks of the Saint Elias Mountains.

Crossing Canada Creek - Slims River West

Crossing Canada Creek – Slims River West

Grizzly Bear tracks - Slims River West

Grizzly Bear tracks – Slims River West