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James Christensen (50) More files...
James Christensen spent his childhood roaming the forests and fields of southern British Columbia in search of wildlife. Although he became a dedicated birder at an early age, reptiles and amphibians were the principal objects of his attention. However, the paucity of snakes in his native Canada left him dreaming of tropical adventure.

That first tropical adventure was to take place in Panama, where, as a member of the U.S. Army's Ranger Regiment, James attended the Jungle Operations Training Center at Fort Sherman. While there he became especially adept at evading his superiors in order to slip alone into the beckoning rain forest with binoculars and bird guide. He was enthralled, and vowed to return unfettered by military regulation. Thus began James's Neotropical romance.

Those years in the infantry contributed much to his future work as a nature photographer: endless patience, endurance under trying conditions, attention to detail, stealth afield , these traits befit soldier and naturalist alike. And he learned to crawl, to hug the earth , like a snake.

Panama subsequently became the location for much of James's field work and he has become increasingly familiar with the diverse flora and fauna of that country over the years. Additionally, James has spent much time shooting in Ecuador, particularly in the vicinity of Mindo, in the western foothills of the Andes. It was there that he succeeded in capturing the first extensive professional imagery of the recently re-discovered Horned Anole. In so doing he recorded ,the first natural history observations of the species, according to Dr. Jonathan Losos of Harvard University. These observations led to a co-authorship of the 2012 paper, Morphology, Phylogeny, and Behavior of Anolis proboscis, by Dr. Steven Poe et al. James's photos depict courtship and mating, and also aggressive interactions between males. The images went far to illuminate the function of the bizarre appendage upon the snout of the male of this rare and enigmatic lizard.

In his work James frequently cooperates with biologists and with members of the local conservation community. He believes strongly in the value of photography as an essential tool in the cause of conservation. Concentrating as he does on creatures ,less loved, he hopes that his images will provide an intimate view into the lives of animals that are at best overlooked, at worst even reviled and persecuted. Snakes and spiders require diplomacy, and James is more than glad to serve as their ambassador.
Chocoan Lancehead (Bothrops punctatus) juvenile, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543143 Chocoan Lancehead (Bothrops punctatus) juvenile, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Spider (Bolostromus sp) male, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543153 Spider (Bolostromus sp) male, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Puget Sound Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis pickeringii), Olympic National Park, Washington
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00556242 Puget Sound Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis pickeringii), Olympic National Park, Washington© James Christensen
Almirante Robber Frog (Craugastor talamancae), Colon, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00434773 Almirante Robber Frog (Craugastor talamancae), Colon, Panama© James Christensen
Equatorial Mussurana (Clelia equatoriana) snake in rainforest, Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543141 Equatorial Mussurana (Clelia equatoriana) snake in rainforest, Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Amazon Ground Snake (Liophis epinephelus), Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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70020668 Amazon Ground Snake (Liophis epinephelus), Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador© James Christensen
Hallowell's Coffee Snake (Ninia atrata), Andes, Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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70020663 Hallowell's Coffee Snake (Ninia atrata), Andes, Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador© James Christensen
Copper Parrot Snake (Leptophis cupreus), Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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70020689 Copper Parrot Snake (Leptophis cupreus), Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador© James Christensen
Equatorial Anole (Anolis aequatorialis) with a bloodsucking insect on its head, Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436439 Equatorial Anole (Anolis aequatorialis) with a bloodsucking insect on its head, Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Horned Anole (Anolis proboscis) subadult female on a branch, Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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70024632 Horned Anole (Anolis proboscis) subadult female on a branch, Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador© James Christensen
Fraser's Anole (Anolis fraseri) male, Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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70020715 Fraser's Anole (Anolis fraseri) male, Mindo, Pichincha, Ecuador© James Christensen
Fraser's Anole (Anolis fraseri) male in defensive posture, Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436492 Fraser's Anole (Anolis fraseri) male in defensive posture, Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Cloud Forest Tree Frog (Hyla pellucens), Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436497 Cloud Forest Tree Frog (Hyla pellucens), Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Temporal Snail-eater (Dipsas temporalis), Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436500 Temporal Snail-eater (Dipsas temporalis), Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Fungus (Lyophyllum sp) mushrooms, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00449447 Fungus (Lyophyllum sp) mushrooms, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Pink-tipped Clearwing Satyr (Cithaerias pireta) butterfly, Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00477817 Pink-tipped Clearwing Satyr (Cithaerias pireta) butterfly, Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Jumping Spider (Corythalia opima), Sierra Llorona Lodge, Santa Rita Arriba, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00537048 Jumping Spider (Corythalia opima), Sierra Llorona Lodge, Santa Rita Arriba, Panama© James Christensen
Anchor Coralsnake (Micrurus ancoralis), Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543138 Anchor Coralsnake (Micrurus ancoralis), Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Spotted Genuine-Snake (Saphenophis boursieri) waving tail in defensive display, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543142 Spotted Genuine-Snake (Saphenophis boursieri) waving tail in defensive display, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Funnel-web Tarantula (Linothele sp) male in rainforest, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543147 Funnel-web Tarantula (Linothele sp) male in rainforest, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Snail (Isomeria sp), Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador
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00556212 Snail (Isomeria sp), Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Striped Yellow-eared Bat (Vampyressa nymphaea) trio roosting in palm tree, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00425602 Striped Yellow-eared Bat (Vampyressa nymphaea) trio roosting in palm tree, Panama© James Christensen
Saturniid Moth (Rothschildia orizaba), Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador
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00556213 Saturniid Moth (Rothschildia orizaba), Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Large-scaled Black Tree Snake (Chironius grandisquamis) in defensive posture, Mindo, Ecuador
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00556232 Large-scaled Black Tree Snake (Chironius grandisquamis) in defensive posture, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Katydid (Phylloptera dimidiata) male, Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador
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00556239 Katydid (Phylloptera dimidiata) male, Septimo Paraiso Cloud Forest Reserve, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Andean Snail-eater (Dipsas andiana) female and Land Snail (Drymaeus sp) prey near city, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543144 Andean Snail-eater (Dipsas andiana) female and Land Snail (Drymaeus sp) prey near city, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
False Zebra Longwing (Heliconius atthis) butterfly, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00543150 False Zebra Longwing (Heliconius atthis) butterfly, Hacienda San Vicente, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Mountain Sipo (Chironius monticola) in threat posture, western slope of the Andes Cloud Forest, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00425630 Mountain Sipo (Chironius monticola) in threat posture, western slope of the Andes Cloud Forest, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Common Rocket Frog (Colostethus inguinalis) male 'nurse' carrying tadpoles, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00425615 Common Rocket Frog (Colostethus inguinalis) male 'nurse' carrying tadpoles, Panama© James Christensen
Trooping Crumble Cap Fungus (Coprinellus disseminatus) mushrooms on west slope of Andes, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00449451 Trooping Crumble Cap Fungus (Coprinellus disseminatus) mushrooms on west slope of Andes, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Spider (Ctenidae) on a plant at night, western slope of the Andes Cloud Forest, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00425646 Spider (Ctenidae) on a plant at night, western slope of the Andes Cloud Forest, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) soldier guarding workers, Colon, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00434748 Army Ant (Eciton hamatum) soldier guarding workers, Colon, Panama© James Christensen
Slope-snouted Glass Frog (Cochranella euknemos), Colon, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00434766 Slope-snouted Glass Frog (Cochranella euknemos), Colon, Panama© James Christensen
Palmer's Treefrog (Hyloscirtus palmeri), Colon, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00434781 Palmer's Treefrog (Hyloscirtus palmeri), Colon, Panama© James Christensen
Spider (Hibana sp) male, Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00477827 Spider (Hibana sp) male, Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
O'Shaughnessy's Anole (Anolis gemmosus) male, Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436495 O'Shaughnessy's Anole (Anolis gemmosus) male, Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Cloud forest, Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436503 Cloud forest, Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Panama Canal with container ships next to townsite, Gamboa, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00440381 Panama Canal with container ships next to townsite, Gamboa, Panama© James Christensen
O'Shaughnessy's Anole (Anolis gemmosus) female displaying, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00449438 O'Shaughnessy's Anole (Anolis gemmosus) female displaying, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Bromeliad (Pitcairnia nigra) flowers on west slope of Andes, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00449441 Bromeliad (Pitcairnia nigra) flowers on west slope of Andes, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Wolf Spider (Hogna sp), Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00477834 Wolf Spider (Hogna sp), Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Wandering Spider (Cupiennius bimaculatus) female with egg sac at the entrance to her lair within a bromeliad, Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00477846 Wandering Spider (Cupiennius bimaculatus) female with egg sac at the entrance to her lair within a bromeliad, Mindo, western slope of Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Millipede, Andes, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00436462 Millipede, Andes, Ecuador© James Christensen
Sylvia Falls cascading in Steven's Woods, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington  -  James Christensen
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00440326 Sylvia Falls cascading in Steven's Woods, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington© James Christensen
Golden-headed Quetzal (Pharomachrus auriceps) male perched on a branch, Mindo, Ecuador  -  James Christensen
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00440357 Golden-headed Quetzal (Pharomachrus auriceps) male perched on a branch, Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Katydid (Tettigoniidae) molting at night, Colon, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00434754 Katydid (Tettigoniidae) molting at night, Colon, Panama© James Christensen
Northern Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) climbing a tree, Colon, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00434733 Northern Tamandua (Tamandua mexicana) climbing a tree, Colon, Panama© James Christensen
Copper Parrot Snake (Leptophis cupreus), Mindo, Ecuador
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00449434 Copper Parrot Snake (Leptophis cupreus), Mindo, Ecuador© James Christensen
Giant Anole (Dactyloa microtus) male on a tree trunk, Boquete, Panama  -  James Christensen
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00440360 Giant Anole (Dactyloa microtus) male on a tree trunk, Boquete, Panama© James Christensen
Mountain stream, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington  -  James Christensen
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00440327 Mountain stream, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington© James Christensen
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