Winners Photography Awards 2009
Leopard by Ifham Raji
A silhouetted leopard Panthera pardus completes this ethereal photographic canvas on a misty Sri Lankan morning. The spotted cat is the emerald island’s apex predator. Geologists and zoologists suggest that the famous prehistoric Adam’s Bridge, once connected Sri Lanka to the Indian subcontinent by land, allowing large land mammals to cross over before the link was snapped by rising seas. The Sri Lankan leopard Panthera pardus kotiya is one of eight subspecies. Like many other tropical islands, Sri Lanka enjoys a high biodiversity and endemicity – 23 per cent of its plants and 16 per cent of its mammals are found nowhere else on our planet.