<p><strong> A <a href="http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/leopard/">leopard</a> seems to strike a regal pose in China in the winning photograph of the annual <a href="http://www.discoverwildlife.com/">BBC Wildlife</a> Camera Trap Competition.</strong></p><p>Photographer Zhou Zhefeng snagged both the top prize and a category win for Animal Portraits.</p><p>Established in 2010, the contest features the most "visually exciting" or significant camera-trap images taken by conservationists worldwide, according to the contest website.</p><p>"As forward leaps in technology go, camera traps have been relatively unsung," the website noted. Sensitive and affordable, these traps have given a huge boost to field researchers.</p><p>For example, "camera traps don't need to sleep or eat, but keep constant watch on key patches of habitat, ready to detect the action and providing priceless insights into wildlife movements, populations, and distribution."</p><p>The winning images will be published in the December issue of <a href="http://www.discoverwildlife.com"><em>BBC Wildlife </em>magazine</a>.</p><p>(See <a href="http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/11/pictures/111102-best-animal-pictures-wildlife-science/">"Pictures: Best Wild Animal Photos of 2011 Announced."</a>)</p>

Leopard Path

A leopard seems to strike a regal pose in China in the winning photograph of the annual BBC Wildlife Camera Trap Competition.

Photographer Zhou Zhefeng snagged both the top prize and a category win for Animal Portraits.

Established in 2010, the contest features the most "visually exciting" or significant camera-trap images taken by conservationists worldwide, according to the contest website.

"As forward leaps in technology go, camera traps have been relatively unsung," the website noted. Sensitive and affordable, these traps have given a huge boost to field researchers.

For example, "camera traps don't need to sleep or eat, but keep constant watch on key patches of habitat, ready to detect the action and providing priceless insights into wildlife movements, populations, and distribution."

The winning images will be published in the December issue of BBC Wildlife magazine.

(See "Pictures: Best Wild Animal Photos of 2011 Announced.")

Photograph courtesy Zhou Zhefeng, BBC Wildlife Magazine

Photos: Best Camera-Trap Pictures of 2012

A tiger chowing on a rhino and a sloth bear spitting at the camera are among the winning subjects of the 2012 BBC Wildlife Camera Trap Competition.

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