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In March 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic forced the world indoors, many of us turned our backyard into our playgrounds — noticing tiny critters that survive in our gardens, acquainting ourselves with our eight-legged flatmates, tracking lifecycles of caterpillars on our potted plants, and learning to identify birds from our balconies. Nature nurtured and sustained us through these difficult times. The idea of a photography contest was born somewhere during these explorations.  In September, in collaboration with the Biodiversity Collaborative and the echo network, we launched the #BackyardBiodiversity Photo Contest. We have been overwhelmed by the response. (To know more about the contest see here.)

Here are the results!

JUDGE’S CHOICE AWARD WINNER

MAINAK DAS

The Judges’ Choice winner was selected by a panel including renowned wildlife photographer and RoundGlass Sustain Ambassador Dhritiman Mukherjee, and consulting editor Niloufer Venkatraman.

MAINAK DAS of Chandannagar, West Bengal, photographed this checkered keelback from the terrace of his building. MAINAK DAS of Chandannagar, West Bengal, photographed this checkered keelback from the terrace of his building.

MAINAK DAS of Chandannagar, West Bengal, photographed this checkered keelback from the terrace of his building.

POPULAR CHOICE AWARD WINNER

SHAUNAK MODI

The Popular Choice winner was the photograph that got the maximum Likes on Instagram, among a shortlist of six selected by the judges. The images were posted on the @theechonetwork and @rgsustain handles on Instagram, the Likes were aggregated to decide the winner.

 

This photograph of a thriving colony of zoanthids against the backdrop of one of Mumbai's most recognisable neighbourhoods, Napean Sea Road, was taken by SHAUNAK MODI of Mumbai, Maharashtra. This photograph of a thriving colony of zoanthids against the backdrop of one of Mumbai's most recognisable neighbourhoods, Napean Sea Road, was taken by SHAUNAK MODI of Mumbai, Maharashtra.

This photograph of a thriving colony of zoanthids against the backdrop of one of Mumbai's most recognisable neighbourhoods, Napean Sea Road, was taken by SHAUNAK MODI of Mumbai, Maharashtra.

POPULAR CHOICE AWARD SHORTLIST

You picked a winner, but here are other photographs that made it to the shortlist.

AVINASH PC from Kannur, Kerala, captured this Indian palm squirrel in what he described as a AVINASH PC from Kannur, Kerala, captured this Indian palm squirrel in what he described as a

AVINASH PC from Kannur, Kerala, captured this Indian palm squirrel in what he described as a "cute moment".

ARGHYADEEP DAS photographeed this predator inside a Chinarose in his garden.

ARGHYADEEP DAS photographeed this predator inside a Chinarose in his garden.

PADMANAVA SANTRA of Kolkata, West Bengal, photographed these ants the day after cyclone Amphan. He said, “A big mango had fallen behind my house and a weaver ant nest was destroyed. I found them moving from leaf to leaf, carrying their eggs to a safe place”.

PADMANAVA SANTRA of Kolkata, West Bengal, photographed these ants the day after cyclone Amphan. He said, “A big mango had fallen behind my house and a weaver ant nest was destroyed. I found them moving from leaf to leaf, carrying their eggs to a safe place”.

This photograph was taken by TRIKANSH SHARMA of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. In the caption, he wrote:

This photograph was taken by TRIKANSH SHARMA of Rishikesh, Uttarakhand. In the caption, he wrote: "The moment I saw these babblers chirping so loudly I guessed there must be a snake inside this hole." He waited to find the right moment.

This large colony of lesser banded hornets was photographed by KALLOL MUKHERJEE in his garden in Singur, West Bengal. He wrote about them,

This large colony of lesser banded hornets was photographed by KALLOL MUKHERJEE in his garden in Singur, West Bengal. He wrote about them, "These are hardworking, social wasps that live in close proximity to human habitats. The cluster of colours indicates the varieties of mud used to create the nest."

LONGLISTED IMAGES

 

SOURAV PAL of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, shot this image of a jungle babbler, a species that is a common visitor to his backyard.

SOURAV PAL of South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, shot this image of a jungle babbler, a species that is a common visitor to his backyard.

SHASHANK PRABHAKAR from Bengaluru, Karnataka, took this photo of a  Brettus jumping spider with her young ones.

SHASHANK PRABHAKAR from Bengaluru, Karnataka, took this photo of a Brettus jumping spider with her young ones. "I observed this family over two weeks and the behaviour is just fascinating! Notice how the parent spider has woven a web to protect the spiderlings. A couple of days after this image was made, the family had left the leaf and a new jumping spider of a different species had come to the same leaf."

This photo by UTHARA from Malappuram, Kerala, shows weaver ants in a symbiotic relationship with aphids. The photo was taken on a smartphone, she wrote. This photo by UTHARA from Malappuram, Kerala, shows weaver ants in a symbiotic relationship with aphids. The photo was taken on a smartphone, she wrote.

This photo by UTHARA from Malappuram, Kerala, shows weaver ants in a symbiotic relationship with aphids. The photo was taken on a smartphone, she wrote.

ANIRBAN GHOSH of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, photographed this acrobatic male purple sunbird collecting nectar from a pink hibiscus flower growing on a plant in his courtyard.

ANIRBAN GHOSH of North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, photographed this acrobatic male purple sunbird collecting nectar from a pink hibiscus flower growing on a plant in his courtyard.

This image of a keelback snake underwater was shot by ANAND VISHWANATH of Puducherry. He'd heard about a pond on the outskirts of the town where the snakes are found. He'd never photographed snakes underwater but wanted to try, so he entered the water slowly to look around and spotted this keelback.

This image of a keelback snake underwater was shot by ANAND VISHWANATH of Puducherry. He'd heard about a pond on the outskirts of the town where the snakes are found. He'd never photographed snakes underwater but wanted to try, so he entered the water slowly to look around and spotted this keelback.

RAJESH THAPLIYAL photographed this mongoose in the garden of his house in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

RAJESH THAPLIYAL photographed this mongoose in the garden of his house in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand.

OMKAR PAI of Kumta, in Karnataka's Uttara Kannada district, was working in his paddy field when he spotted something moving in the mud. This caecilian emerged soon after. OMKAR PAI of Kumta, in Karnataka's Uttara Kannada district, was working in his paddy field when he spotted something moving in the mud. This caecilian emerged soon after.

OMKAR PAI of Kumta, in Karnataka's Uttara Kannada district, was working in his paddy field when he spotted something moving in the mud. This caecilian emerged soon after.

This unique bird bath was photographed by SAMUDRA SENGUPTA of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

This unique bird bath was photographed by SAMUDRA SENGUPTA of Jalpaiguri, West Bengal.

JAYSHREE BORGOHAIN shot this image in the garden of a temple in Tezpur, Assam. She sent it with the slogan, 'Not okay to poach t-okay!' JAYSHREE BORGOHAIN shot this image in the garden of a temple in Tezpur, Assam. She sent it with the slogan, 'Not okay to poach t-okay!'

JAYSHREE BORGOHAIN shot this image in the garden of a temple in Tezpur, Assam. She sent it with the slogan, 'Not okay to poach t-okay!'

PRATEEK AGARWAL took this photograph at Sri Sri Ugratara Devalaya Temple Pond in Guwahati, Assam.

PRATEEK AGARWAL took this photograph at Sri Sri Ugratara Devalaya Temple Pond in Guwahati, Assam.

Male bullfrogs turn bright yellow each monsoon, during the breeding season. RISHAV DUTTA of Alipurduar Junction, West Bengal, shot this mating pair near his home. He wrote, “There was a time when they used to gather in a large number in the flooded playgrounds and gardens. But nowadays, those grounds are being destroyed for urbanization, so it's hard to find them while mating.” Male bullfrogs turn bright yellow each monsoon, during the breeding season. RISHAV DUTTA of Alipurduar Junction, West Bengal, shot this mating pair near his home. He wrote, “There was a time when they used to gather in a large number in the flooded playgrounds and gardens. But nowadays, those grounds are being destroyed for urbanization, so it's hard to find them while mating.”

Male bullfrogs turn bright yellow each monsoon, during the breeding season. RISHAV DUTTA of Alipurduar Junction, West Bengal, shot this mating pair near his home. He wrote, “There was a time when they used to gather in a large number in the flooded playgrounds and gardens. But nowadays, those grounds are being destroyed for urbanization, so it's hard to find them while mating.”

This photograph of oriental garden lizards was taken by DIPANJAN NATH of Bengaluru, Karnataka

This photograph of oriental garden lizards was taken by DIPANJAN NATH of Bengaluru, Karnataka

This photograph of a wolf spider was taken by AYAN BISWAS. In the caption accompanying the image, he wrote that this is a species with many unique behaviours. The wolf spider doesn’t spin a web to catch its prey. Instead, it attacks at night, much like a wolf. During breeding season, a female lays over a hundred eggs at a time, attaching them to the spinnerets, and carrying them over 40 days until they hatch and become big enough to fend for themselves.

This photograph of a wolf spider was taken by AYAN BISWAS. In the caption accompanying the image, he wrote that this is a species with many unique behaviours. The wolf spider doesn’t spin a web to catch its prey. Instead, it attacks at night, much like a wolf. During breeding season, a female lays over a hundred eggs at a time, attaching them to the spinnerets, and carrying them over 40 days until they hatch and become big enough to fend for themselves.

Sustain Team
Sustain Team

We are a driven group of people from diverse backgrounds, bound by an abiding love for India’s natural world.

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