Unlikely animals battle in photo contest

In the wild a contest between a Douglas squirrel and a pair of great horned owls would be no contest at all

In the wild a contest between a Douglas squirrel and a pair of great horned owls would be no contest at all. But in the BC SPCA’s eighth annual Wildlife in Focus photography contest, squirrel meets owl is a see-saw battle.

Surrey photographer Lori Clark took the photo of a Douglas squirrel, gathering cone seeds in the branches of a tree; Kelowna’s Paul Cowhig, the image of two great horned owls peering over a parapet.

Great shots, but there’s more to come. People can submit photos until the Sept. 30 deadline, which gives them plenty of time to enter the competition.

“The contest encourages participants explore green spaces, roadsides, mountain passes, beach and backyards to find photos that really showcase the astonishing diversity of animals we have throughout B.C., and represent the resiliency of local wildlife living at the interface with humans,” said  BC SPCA chief scientific officer Dr. Sara Dubois.

Prizes are also awarded for the top three photos in each of two judged categories: Wild Settings and Backyard Habitats. All amateur photographers at least 14 years of age are invited to enter the competition, which runs from July 1 to Sept. 30, by submitting their most impressive digital images of B.C.’s wildlife at rest, work and play.

All photos of wildlife entered must be taken within B.C. and submitted digitally. “Wildlife” includes free-living birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects, but not exotic, feral or domestic animals, or wildlife in zoos or rehabilitation facilities,” Dubois said.

The contest supports the BC SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) on Vancouver Island, where almost 3,000 orphaned and injured wild animals are cared for each year.

Photos entered in previous contests have been featured in the BC SPCA’s Animal Sense and Bark! Magazines, as well as in BC SPCA educational materials, local newspapers, websites and social media – a testament to the calibre of the images that are entered, Dubois said.

Learn more about this year’s contest and view past winning images at spca.bc.ca. While you’re there, take a moment to vote for what you figure is the best shot in the People’s Choice Award category.

Not only will you be casting a vote, you’ll be supporting wildlife. With the introduction of the People’s Choice Award, you cast your ballot by donating to vote.

More information at contest@wildarc.com.