WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2010

Urban Wildlife

Michael Patrick O'Neill, USA/Brazil

Cold comfort

In early January 2010, Florida was in the grip of an exceptionally cold snap. Manatees can't survive when water temperatures fall below 18˚C (65˚F), and in winter, many depend on warm river springs or, as here, cluster around the tepid water discharged from power plants along the coast. 'I chartered a helicopter,' says Michael, 'and used a wide-angle lens to reveal the industrial nature of the winter habitat of some of Florida's manatees,' in this case, Riviera Beach in Palm Beach County - a hugely important site for them. Such a concentration of these giant marine herbivores belies the fact that the species is endangered. A record 430 died of cold that winter.

Technical specification

Nikon D2x + 16mm f2.8 lens; 1/1000 sec at f9; ISO 200.


Riviera Beach, Florida, USA: latitude 26.77534, longitude -80.0581 Riviera Beach, Florida, USA: latitude 26.77534, longitude -80.0581

Riviera Beach, Florida, USA

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Michael Patrick O'Neill, USA/Brazil