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      The Nature Report: Wildlife Photography Contest

      Twenty professional wildlife photographers from around the world have just finished shooting in the Images for Conservation Fund Pro Tour Competition.

      The contest took place in the ranch country of South Texas centered around Webb County west of Laredo. The month long competition, which ended on April 30th, is run by John Martin of Edinburg, whose goal is to enhance conservation thru wildlife photography. Images for Conservation Fund Chairman John Martin, Chairman spoke to The Nature Report about the contest.

      This prize money is $180,000, which is the richest photo competition in the world, Martin said. Jasper Doest traveled all the way from Holland to participate and is photographing on the San Pablito owned by Jim and Ann Gibbs. This ranch is spectacular, Doest said. It is surrounded by 300,000 acres|no hunting|low fence|so what is the experience like|it is a wild place.

      San Pablito Ranch landowner Ann Gibbs said the contest was wonderful.

      It has been great, we have really learned so much about photography, and also just how they look at things, she said.

      Her husband Jim Gibbs agreed. It has been a good experience for us to have a couple of Dutchmen here, and I think a good experience for the Dutchmen to come down here and see what South Texas is really like, Gibbs said. Each photographer is teamed with a landowner and the prize money is split between the photographer and the rancher. El Veleno Rancho owner Renato, Ramirez said it was an activity his whole family could participate in.

      It has been a very good experience for us, Ramirez said. It is great. My whole family is involved with it|. my wife and my kids. Judging will take place in late May, and the awards will be announced in June after which a book of the winning images will be published.