WASHINGTON, Dec. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A Yellow-crowned Night-Heron at J.N. Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge in Florida was this year's second place winner in a photography contest seeking to highlight the diverse, natural beauty found in the National Wildlife Refuge System, the world's largest network of conservation lands and waters. Taken by Craig Goettsch of Colorado Springs, Colo., the image depicts the bird wading in waters swirled by the wake of waves.
Conducted by the National Wildlife Refuge Association, an independent nonprofit that promotes the Refuge System, the Wildlife Refuge Photography Contest highlights the stunning scenery and wildlife found on more than 560 national wildlife refuges.
"America's national wildlife refuges are outstanding places to capture the beauty of nature and the wonder of wildlife," said David Houghton, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association. "Nature photography is a growing passion on our wildlife refuges. We're excited to showcase the skills and talents of the photographers who visit our refuges to visually tell the stories of the wildlife and people that make these places special."
For his second prize winning photo Goettsch, will receive one set of binoculars courtesy of Eagle Optics.
Other top winners in this year's contest are:
- Grand Prize: American kestrel perched on a cattail at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge in Washington, photographed by Dennis Davenport of Portland, Ore.
- Third place: Harbor seal pup at Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, photographed by Steve Dimock of Bandon, Ore.
- Fourth place: Gulf fritillary at Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge in Texas, photographed by Freddie Beckwith of Pottsboro, Texas.
A complete list this year's winners and those receiving an honorable mention, along with their images, are featured on the 2015 Refuge Photography Contest homepage at: refugeassociation.org/people/photo-contest-2015.
The National Wildlife Refuge System is the world's premier system of protected public lands, encompassing more than 150 million acres of land and water in every U.S. state and territory, plus more than 418 million acres of national marine monuments.
The National Wildlife Refuge Association is the only independent nonprofit that promotes and protects the world's largest wildlife conservation network: the National Wildlife Refuge System. Learn more at: refugeassociation.org.
Contact: Tracey P. Adams, (202) 577-3396
SOURCE National Wildlife Refuge Association