This fall, in honor of the U.S Fish and Wildlife's federal Duck Stamp contest, The Nature Conservancy conducted a digital photography competition to highlight the beauty of native prairie in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota.
More than 800 landscape and wildlife photos were submitted, and ten winners were selected by a panel of judges. (See the list of winners below and view their images in our slideshow!)
The Duck Stamp contest is the most prestigious wildlife art event in the world, and draws many thousands of artists and spectators each year. It's also important to conservation: the Duck Stamp funds most of the conservation work in the prairies and wetlands of North Dakota and South Dakota. More than a half-million acres of prairies and wetlands have been protected as a result of this funding.
1st Place: Red fox - Nathan Lovas, Eden Prairie, MN
2nd Place: Ferruginous hawk - Irene Colling, Howard, SD
3rd Place: Sandhill crane colt - Juancarlos Giese, Mentor, MN
4th Place: Prairie chickens - Nathan Lovas
5th Place: Monarch on Blazing Star - Raymond Auger, Rochester, MN
6th Place: Blazing Star - Nathan Lovas
7th Place: Purple hillside - Ray Reiffenberger
8th Place: Prairie sunrise - Dale Rehder, West Fargo, ND
9th Place Tied:
Bumblebees - Dale Rehder
Prairie Clover - David Halgrimson, Battle Lake, MN
Thank you to all who participated! View all submitted photos on our Flickr™ photo contest page.
The winning photographs were previously on display at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge. Future exhibition venues are being sought.January 11, 2011