Friday, October 23, 2020

A Twist: the 2020 WV Photo Contest

    While this year hasn't turned out quite as planned, some things will never change. In this spirit, we're hosting a down-sized annual WV photo contest. The categories this year will be:

  • All in a day's work. Photos that depict any kind of work during a WV project. Think tools, volunteers, and anything that looks like work.
  • Landscapes. Photos with a landscape from a project. Could also include your boots, a napping friend, etc!
  • Camp life is the life for me. Photos of life in camp. Could include meals, hanging out at your tent, R & R, playing games, or juggling pulaskis (just kidding).

    The contest is open to any photo from any past Wilderness Volunteers project that you took. Winning photos from previous WV photo contests are ineligible for 2020 contest entry. This contest is open to all WV project leaders and volunteers, past and present. Dig out those boxes of photos, unearth your albums, and dust off your laptop or desktop—we're heading down memory lane.      

Click on each category above for the upload page.
Click here to view entries so far for each category.

Please include your name, the location, and the year (or your best guess).
(eg. Northcutt_LyeBrook2019.jpg)
    The prizes this year will be announced in November and the contest will end on Sunday, December 13th.  Below you'll find some entries and winners from past projects.

R. Brickley. BWCAW 2019.  

R. Brickley. BWCAW 2019. 

K. Kanthatham. Sawtooth Wilderness 2019.

G. Allen.  King Range NCA 2019. 

R. Kahn. Zion 2019.

K. Worley. Hakalau NWR 2018.

    One winner will be selected for each category. You can enter as many photos as you like, just be sure to do so before the deadline of the end of day on Sunday, December 13, 2020! We hope you'll join us for this Wilderness Volunteers 23 year project reunion.  

Official Contest Rules:

  • All photos must be taken on any Wilderness Volunteers Project and subject matter must comply with Leave No Trace ethics & principles.

  • Winning photos from previous WV photo contests are ineligible for 2020 contest entry.
  • Each entry must include the photographer's name and the project it was taken on.
  • The same photo cannot be entered in more than one category. Judges reserve the right to switch images to other categories.
  • The contest is open to all WV project participants and leaders, except for Wilderness Volunteers staff, contest judges and their families. WV reserves the right to verify, in its sole judgment, entrant eligibility.
  • Photographs will be judged on originality, technical excellence, composition, overall impact, and artistic merit. Awards will be selected by a panel of judges, and all decisions are final.
  • Entries must be submitted to the Wilderness Volunteers photo gallery no later than 11:59 pm UTC on by Sunday, December 13th, 2020 to be eligible.
  • Judges may exclude entries that do not meet the above criteria.
  • Winners will be notified by email. Wilderness Volunteers is not responsible for lost or damaged prizes.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Celebrate Bat Week

Holy Flying Mammals Batman!

October 24-31, 2020 is Bat Week, an annual international celebration of our amazing flying friends and their important role in our ecosystem. 

While we may not see these nocturnal beauties very often while we're going about our daily lives they serve many crucial roles in preserving the health and diversity of our environment; from eating an incredible number of insects, to pollinating flowers and crops, to spreading seeds leading to the germination of new trees and bushes.

With over 14,000 species of bats the variety among species is incredible; the smallest bat is just over an inch long while the largest can have a wingspan of over 5.5 feet! Some feed on fruit (frugivores), some nectar (nectarivores), some insects (insectivores), while others have a more unique feeding specialty (vampire bats). 

What Do You Call a Group of Bats?

A group of bats is called a colony (in a cave), a cloud (flying in a group), or a camp (a unit of bats). 

A cloud of bats (Paul Cryan)
White Nose Syndrome 

One of the major threats to bats right now is White Nose Syndrome (WNS). This is a debilitating fungus that attacks the respiratory system of infected bats. It can be transmitted from cave to cave by bats and by people (spores on shoes and other gear).  

A little brown bat with WNS
(Ryan von Linden, New York Department of Environmental Conservation)

How You Can Help Bats

-learn more about bats and bat week

-share bat info and/or photos on social media using #batweek  

-stay out of caves if possible and if you do visit clean your gear thoroughly

-build a bat house

baby flying fox (Julia Boland, USFWS)

lesser long nosed bat
(Bruce D. Taubert/Bat Conservation International)