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Crocodilian images which reveal fascinating stories told from a visual perspective.


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Hidden Dragon

Sub-adult Chinese alligator

January's Pic of the Month shows a sub-adult Chinese Alligator from St Augustine Alligator Farm. We hope that 2002 will be a year of change for this hidden dragon, which is already off to an auspicious start with a commitment from the Chinese government to allocate substantial funds towards the alligator's conservation. This time last year, the Chinese alligator's future outlook was bleak indeed. With less than 150 remaining in the wild, extinction within a decade seemed unavoidable. But perhaps the tide is turning for this unique species, as the Chinese have elevated their last true "dragon" to the same status as the giant panda in terms of conservation priority. With the support of the international community, the Chinese will be establishing new habitat and reintroducing captive bred alligators back into the wild, as well as securing the survival of existing wild populations. Over the course of 2001, the Chinese alligator's fortunes appear to have changed, although there is still a long way to go. Let us hope that 2002 brings further positive change for not only this crocodilian species, but several others like Philippine crocodiles, Siamese crocodiles and Orinoco crocodiles to name only three that are unique and irreplaceable parts of our ecosystem, our culture and our lives.

This photograph, printed using the Ilfochrome process, is the prize for the best picture submitted during 2001 to Crocodilians: Natural History and Conservation. That picture is the one that has most impressed the judges, whether through technical merit, artistic merit, or simply a unique view of crocodilian life.

The winner will be announced very shortly! Our saltwater crocodiles are laying eggs right now, and there hasn't been enough time yet for everyone to make a decision. If there's one thing I always have around here, it's a unique excuse!




Do you have a photograph which you'd like to become the Pic of the Month? Submit it and I'll select the best. The best photograph I receive each year will receive a prize - an Ilfochrome print - to be awarded in December. New entries will go into the 2002 draw.


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