The 2005 Earthwatch photography competition was a huge success, thanks to the efforts of almost 50 entrants, who between them submitted hundreds of superb photos to the judges.
The large number and high standard of entries meant that the judges had to think long and hard before coming to a decision in the two separate categories of the competition.
The Threatened Species category was won by Bill Shelby from the USA. Mr Shelby's photo of a mountain lion kitten dazzled the panel of judges at ARKive. The six-month-old kitten was photographed in January 2002 when Mr Shelby was on the Mountain Lion project in the Mapimi Man and Biosphere Reserve in Chihuahua, Mexico. The prize for the ARKive threatened species category was a pair of passes to the 2006 Wildscreen Festival in Bristol.
ARKive, who judged the Threatened Species category, is an initiative of Wildscreen, a UK-based charity that gathers together a digital library of films, photos and audio recordings of the world's species. Judges from ARKive also short-listed three other entries in this category:
Monika Trckova's photo of an impala was taken in November 2005 on the South Africa's Hidden Species project; Fiona Green's photo of a swallowtail butterfly was snapped in May 2004 on Butterflies of Vietnam; and Glenn Bugeja captured his insect shot on Butterflies of Vietnam in June 2005.
First prize in the main section of the competition, where entrants' pictures had to demonstrate the 'Earthwatch experience', went to Peter Gwengi from Kenya. The prize for this section of the competition was a place on a UK project and Mr Gwengi opted for Seals of Southwest England.
His winning photo, taken on 'Conserving the Pantanal', shows volunteers measuring the highs and lows of water temperature for a water quality study related to important research on amphibians and reptiles.
Runners-up in the Earthwatch experience category were Benedict Lim, with a highly atmospheric shot taken on Malaysian Bat Conservation in August 2005, and Roger Moses, with his picture of a jaguar snapped in August 2004 on 'Conserving the Pantanal'.
Photo credits top-to-bottom: © 'Elvis' by Bill Shelby © 'Conserving the Pantanal' by Peter Gwengi