The Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2018
Certificate of Merit: Ganesh Chowdhury
All Smiles: Though it inhabits one of the most densely populated regions in the world and has been graced with the title of India’s National Aquatic Animal, we know very little about the Ganges river dolphin. With both images and information being sparse, Ganesh Chowdhury’s superlative portrait of a dolphin in West Bengal’s Hooghly river took the judges’ breath away. In the villages here, there is a misconception that dolphins bite people. The irony of course is that it is these dolphins that are threatened by humans and not the other way around. The degradation, loss and pollution of their freshwater habitat, coupled with threats from fishing, has pushed them to the very brink of extinction. This glorious picture that shows off the Ganges river dolphin’s most distinct features – its thin snout, large flippers and pinhole eyes – draws attention to the decline of this endangered,misunderstood species.