The National Wildlife Refuge Association has announced the winners of their 2012 Refuge Photography Contest.
Keith Ramos of Galena, Alaska won first place with a photo of a young bobcat peering through the foliage at San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge in Texas. The curious bobcat had just been released into the wild by a wildlife rehabilitator. Ramos, who serves as Deputy Manager of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Koyukuk/Nowitna National Wildlife Refuge Complex, took the photo when stationed at San Bernard.
“Each year, photographers from across America capture images of wildlife and landscapes that tell the story of our National Wildlife Refuge System and the unparalleled wildlife and recreation heritage it protects,” said David Houghton, President of the Refuge Association. “The gallery of winning images illustrates why it’s so important for us to protect and conserve these special places for future generations.”
For his winning photo, Ramos will receive the Southwest Airlines Adventure Package that includes $2,000 and four round trip tickets, valued at $3,600.
Other top winners in this year’s contest were:
Second place: Carol Grant of Clearwater, FL, for her photo of two manatees at the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), FL.
Third-place: Les Zigurski of Scales Mound, IL, for his photo of two bald eagles in the midst of an aerial conflict at the Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge, IL.
Fourth-place: Betsy Kellenberger of Tallahassee, FL, for an image of a yellow warbler perched among late-summer flowers taken at Florida’s St. Marks NWR in the Crawfordville, FL area.
A complete list of prizewinners in this year’s contest and more than 150 images selected for the Finalists Gallery can be found at NWRA’s 2012 photo website.