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


Michael Patrick O'Neill, USA/Brazil