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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes

DESERT NWRC: Catching Wildlife with Cameras

Region 8, June 15, 2013
Kari Tyrone's winning photograph
Kari Tyrone's winning photograph "Shorebirds" - Photo Credit: n/a
Harry Konwin of the USFWS with Sharon Schafer and participants of “The Art of Seeing” workshop
Harry Konwin of the USFWS with Sharon Schafer and participants of “The Art of Seeing” workshop - Photo Credit: n/a
Sunset at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge.
Sunset at Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: n/a
White-faced ibis, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge.
White-faced ibis, Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. - Photo Credit: n/a

By Tim Parker

You can’t take a baby eagle, osprey, or even a lizard home with you after visiting a National Wildlife Refuge. It’s against the law. However, you can take their picture. This past spring, Friends of the Desert National Wildlife Refuge Complex (Friends) sponsored several initiatives to support this wildlife dependent recreation that is encouraged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

In March, board member and local artist Sharon Schafer conducted a photography workshop at Moapa Valley NWR entitled “The Art of Seeing”. With an emphasis on using artistic methods of composition, Sharon helped attendees to develop an eye for what distinguishes an ordinary pictures form those that capture our attention with bold colors, dramatic lines, and meaningful stories. Complementing this introduction was an additional two day technical class held a few weekends later at Pahranagat NWR.

These efforts culminated in a photo contest held online through Facebook during the month of May. The contest provided prizes under two categories, the most popular and judges’ choice. Pictures were required to come from one of southern Nevada’s four national wildlife refuges. Kari Tyrone was selected as the winner of the most popular category via online voting. The judging panel, consisting of the Friends board members, scored each photo on technical merit, composition, and visual impact. After tallying these scores, Kari Tyrone once again won with her photograph entitled “Shorebirds.” Congratulations, Kari!

"I love photography as much as I love nature and wildlife, so when I found the group Friends of the Desert NWRC on facebook, I saw that they were hosting an amateur photo contest to help raise awareness for these wonderful refuges," said Kari Tyrone. "I just had to enter."

Thank you to all of our participants who helped showcase the amazing wildlife and beauty of southern Nevada. Many of the photographs entered into the contest can be found online at facebook.com/FriendsofDesertWildlifeRefuges

Tim Parker is in Visitor Services and Environmental Education at Pahranagat and Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuges.

Contact Info: Tim Parker, 775-725-3417 ext.303, timothy_parker@fws.gov