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  1. Dear all,

    Hereby the winner announcements of the July 2016 contest, which ran from June 25 until July 31. This has been a record-breaking contest with 2,387 photos submitted during the contest period, leading to a whopping 1,050 species introduced to the site. I am deeply proud of the participants, community and moderators handling the avalanche of natural beauty contributed!

    I feel ill-equipped to pick the winners from so many contributions, but here goes...

    I've selected this photo by @Patomarozul as the winner of the best photo award:

    Crinoid clingfish Seen in Cabilao, Philippines (2012). Photo by Mark Bockstael (my husband). <br />
Gobiesocidae. To 3 cm (1/4 in.): Elongate with short rounded snout. Black to pale reddish brown. White to yellow stripe from eye to tail. Occasionally a 3rd stripe down back. Typically display color of host crinoid.<br />
Habitat: Solitary or in pairs. Coral reefs 8-20 m. East Indo-West Pacific. Clingfish,Crinoid clingfish,Discotrema crinophilum,Fall,Geotagged,Philippines,discotrema_crinophilum

    Main reasons are the high community appreciation and the unearthly scene and species that is captured so well. A photo that invokes an emotional response of both fear and curiosity. And not to forget, a photo that takes great skill in both diving and photography to capture.

    This award literally kept me up at night. @Patomarozul took a big lead in the beginning of the contest, and only halfway in got competition from new member @Natalia Cara with her vast collection of new species. Yet in the very last week of the contest, a king of species arrived on the scene. @Thibaud Aronson launched a record-breaking set of 333 species intros, compared to @Patomarazul's 178 species intros and @Natalia Cara's 163 species. Besides clearly winning this award, Thibaud broke several other records, all in a single week.

    @Thibaud wins, but thank you to all participants of this award as you greatly expanded our set of species and locations.

    With over a 1,000 new species added, I've found it extremely difficult to pick one that is most unique or valuable. At least a few dozen would comply. I ultimately settled on this fear-inducing enormous scorpion shared by @abhitap:

    Really Giant id: Giant forest scorpion (Heterometrus longimanus)<br />
Also known as Giant blue scorpion<br />
This beauty we found near Kerala forest research institute, Vythiri, Wayanad, Kerala.<br />
Heterometrus genus scorpions are all huge scorpions.<br />
Scorpions are one the animals which are less studied in India. Arachnid,Chelicerata,D5200,Geotagged,Heterometrus longimanus,IncredibleIndia,India,Kerala,Nikon,NikonD5200,Scorpion,Scorpiones,Scorpionidae,Summer,Tamron,Tamron70300,Vythiri,Wayanad,Wildindia,incredible india

    Community heroes are members who go beyond their own photos and species and interact with the rest of the community to improve content, by encouraging new members, correcting and setting species identifications, and more. This award goes to @Martin Lagerwey. Not only is he an incredible collector and specialist of some of the world's most beautiful beetles, he also regularly and silently offers his vast entomology expertise to help others.

    As said, this has been a spectacular contest, both in quality and quantity. Thank you to all who competed! Keep in mind that even if you did not win, you did still contribute enormously to the site, and you should be proud of that. I invite everybody to keep sharing, contest or not, as that is the main goal of our platform.

    Congrats on the winners, I will be contacting you privately to pay out the prize money.
    Replied 2 years ago, modified 2 years ago
  2. Congratulations to all - I've personally really enjoyed this contest, not only uploading pics but also seeing the amazing shots that others have taken. I'm in absolute awe with the quality of the pictures and also the quantity!

    @ferdy - I hope your hosting platform can handle all the bandwidth utilisation with all these high quality images ;) (only joking, I know you'll have this in hand!)
    Replied 2 years ago
  3. @Stuart: I can only agree, I still need time to absorb all the beauty.
    Although you were joking, regarding bandwidth: it is unlimited as the images themselves are hosted in the Amazon cloud, meaning they are limited only by my wallet :)
    Replied 2 years ago
  4. The quality of photography is very high on this site and I really appreciate that the photographers are encouraged to post the best quality rather than having to dumb down the images. To win the photography prize in such company requires something special, and that was delivered.

    I am astounded by the number of new species. I was expecting a number like 30 to win it, not 333 - amazing!

    Congratulations to Martin who has been a source of help and inspiration to me. A great choice.

    Replied 2 years ago
  5. Thank you Dave. The species intros were insane in this contest. I regularly had to spend 4 hours per day just to handle them. A 1,000 species intros usually take us 5 to 6 months. We're now heading towards the beautiful milestone of 10,000 species :) Replied 2 years ago
  6. And this is why as only a casual photographer, I don't enter these competitions. There is no way I could compete with the spectacular quality of these photos. Congratulations to all the winners, truly an inspiring quantity and quality. Replied 2 years ago
  7. @DragonC: I understand what you're saying. I did make an attempt to balance different qualities of the community players, giving the maximum amount of people a chance to win. "Community hero" is a good example of a prize that can be won without any photos contributed at all.

    I'll be honest though, "species collector" is my personal favorite. It's not subjective and does the most to help JungleDragon's goals.
    Replied 2 years ago
  8. Wow! Thanks very much fchristant! I have to tell me husband that he won a photo contest with his crinoid fish! I am very happy! Replied 2 years ago
  9. Thanks a lot Ferdy! And congrats to the other winners, especially Patomarazul's husband. I mean, wow, that is a world-class picture! Replied 2 years ago
  10. Congrats everyone
    Replied 2 years ago
  11. congrats to you all, I missed a lot unfortunately due to absence of internet here. 333 species is something VERY special indeed. Replied 2 years ago

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