Dr Silviu Petrovan, our Conservation Coordinator and an honorary
research associate at the University of Hull has won a prize in this year’s British Ecological Society’s photographic competition.
His beautifully composed picture of a dice snake (Natrix tessellata) won the ‘whole organisms and populations’ category.
The dice snake is a semi-aquatic European species, typically predating on fish and sometimes amphibians. They have a highly developed sense of smell and can often be seen ‘tasting’ the environment, both on land and under water, with their very mobile tongue.
Silviu took the picture in April this year in south-west Romania. “This snake was in a pond on the side of the Danube, on the border between Romania and Serbia. It was constantly moving around in the shallow water and flicking its tongue in search of prey,” he says.
This is the fifth year running that one of Silviu’s entries has won a prize in the BES competition, reflecting his passion for photography as well as ecology.
“I find the natural environment fascinating and photography is an amazing way of capturing the moment, as well as recording important aspects of the work. In tropical areas photography can be an essential tool for species recognition,” he explains.
“These days I work a lot with custom made cameras for monitoring road tunnels for amphibians and it is amazing to see what goes on in such tunnels even in a semi-urban area in the UK.”
Two other of his images were highly commended by the judges.
An exhibition of images from the BES photographic competition is on show this week at the joint meeting of the BES and the Société Française d’Ecologie at the Grand Palais in Lille.