Have a B.C. wildlife shot as amazing as this? The BC SPCA is looking for entries to their ninth annual Wildlife-In-Focus photo contest. This shot by Sarah MacDonald won first place last year in the Wild Settings category. — Sarah MacDonald

Wildlife photo contest open for entries

BC SPCA looking for your best shots featuring wild animals in B.C.

The B.C. SPCA’s ninth annual Wildlife-In-Focus Photography Contest is now open for entries.

The goal is to capture the best of British Columbia’s wildlife through the lens, whether the subjects are in your own backyard or in the vast natural wilderness of the province.

All amateur photographers at least 14 years of age are invited to enter the competition, which runs from July 15 to September 15, by submitting their most impressive digital images of B.C.’s wildlife.

“From bear cubs locked in a warm embrace to mother song birds feeding their young, the images are stunning and make it hard for our judges to choose the winning photos,” said Dr. Sara Dubois, B.C. SPCA chief scientific officer. “In addition to the judged photos, we are excited to continue offering the wildly popular People’s Choice Award.”

By donating to vote, those who cast a ballot for their favourite images will also help animals in need with their donation, Dubois noted. The contest supports the B.C. SPCA’s Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) on Vancouver Island, where more than 3,000 orphaned and injured wild animals are cared for each year.

Photos entered in previous contests have been featured in the B.C. SPCA’s Animal Sense and Bark! magazines, as well as in B.C. SPCA educational materials, local newspapers, websites and social media – a testament to the caliber of the images that are entered. New this year: the top 52 photos with the most votes will be featured on a deck of playing cards.

Prizes are awarded for the top three photos, as determined by the judges, in each of two categories: Wild Settings and Backyard Habitats. The donate-to-vote People’s Choice Award will also be awarded a prize. All photos of wildlife entered must be taken within B.C. and submitted digitally. “Wildlife” includes free-living birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, fish and insects, but not exotic, feral or domestic animals, or wildlife in zoos or rehabilitation facilities.

Learn more about this year’s contest and view past winners’ images at spca.bc.ca/wildlife-in-focus.

“The contest encourages participants to explore green spaces, roadsides, mountain passes, beaches and backyards to find striking photo opportunities that represent the resiliency of local wildlife living at the interface with humans,” Dubois said.

Photographers can also find inspiration online, with the 24/7 live-streaming Wild ARC Critter Cam (spca.bc.ca/crittercam), which features wild patients. For more information, emailcontest@wildarc.com.

— BC SPCA