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Book Review...

Wildlife in Focus
Review by Tere Hendricks. All rights reserved.

At first glance, Wildlife in Focus might appear to be nothing more than a vanity publication for some folks who won a photo contest. In fact, it is substantially more than that. Wildlife in Focus is a testament to what a group of dedicated people can do to promote the "conservation and protection of wildlife and habitat" through photography.

Wildlife in Focus is a portfolio of wildlife photographs from the first Coastal Bend Wildlife Photography Contest held in 2001. All of the photos were taken on private land in a ten county area of the Coastal Bend region of Texas during a three-month period between February 15th and May 15th.

The Coastal Bend Wildlife Photography Contest, sponsored by the Coastal Bend Land Trust, is relatively unique. The landowners provide "the habitat, wildlife, and access," the photographers take the pictures and both receive credit for the image. The prize money is also split equally between the photographers and landowners.

The two hundred images in the book are divided into five categories: insects and arachnids, reptiles and amphibians, birds, mammals, and special categories. Each winning photograph is accompanied by information on equipment and film along with comments on how the image was captured. The photographerís comments provide a fascinating and insightful compliment to the images.

There are so many wonderful photos in Wildlife in Focus itís unfair to single out one--but the photo of a Greenstriped Grasshopper (pg. 64) is one of my favorites. The comments of photographers Donald Mammoser and Brad Correa explain why. "I thought my eyes deceived me. As I walked through a field of wildflowers early one morning, I saw a pink grasshopper. Never, in all my days of crawling around in fields, had I seen such a thing. I got out my gear and prayed it would not jump away."

Wildlife in Focus is a remarkable book. Itís not only remarkable for the photography, but also for all of the efforts of the volunteers and sponsors that went into the contest and into producing the book. Itís also remarkable because as one landowner put it "Wildlife in Focus is part of the effort to make us all aware of the need for conservation, lest we lose something we cannot ever recover."

A special thanks to Juan E. Bahamon, MD, PA for providing NPN with a copy of the book to review. For more information about Wildlife in Focus and the Coastal Bend Wildlife Photography Contest, visit

Published by Coastal Bend Land Trust - 2002, ISBN 0-615-12118-7, 170 pp, 200 color photos, 8 1/2" x 11", hardcover, $40.00.

Tere hendricks -NPN 093

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