People’s Choice Award finalists for Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has selected 25 finalist photos for its People’s Choice Award. Now it’s up to the public to vote for the overall winner. Anyone can participate in the process until February 2nd at 14:00 GMT.
Over 49,000 images were submitted to this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. 100 images were chosen as winners or finalists by the panel of judges. An additional 25 photos have been set aside for this latest shortlist. Make sure you view the gallery, read the rules, and cast a vote for your favorite image before the deadline.
The winner and top 4 highly commended images will be revealed on February 9th. An exhibit of all shortlisted images across the entire Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be on display through July 4th.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘The Alpha’ by Mogens Trolle
About this Photo: Of all the different primate species Mogens has photographed, the mandrill has proved the most difficult to reach, preferring to hide in tropical forests in remote parts of Central Africa.
This made the experience of sitting next to this impressive alpha, as he observed his troop above, even more special. When a male becomes alpha, he undergoes physical changes that accompany a rise in testosterone levels, and this results in the colors on his snout becoming much brighter. With the loss of status, the colors fade. Mogens used a flash to enhance the vivid colors and textures against the dark forest background.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Life Saver’ by Sergio Marijuán Campuzano
About this Photo: As urban areas grow, like Jaen in Spain, threats to wildlife increase, and Iberian lynx have become a casualty of traffic accidents as they too seek to expand their own territories.
In 2019, over 34 lynx were run over, and three days before Sergio took this photo a two-year-old female lost her life not far from this spot. To combat mortality on the roads, improvements in the fencing and the construction of under-road tunnels are two proven solutions, and they are a lifeline for many other creatures as well as lynx.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Shut the Front Door’ by Sam Sloss
About this Photo: This coconut octopus was spotted walking around the black sand of the Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi carrying its house made of shells.
Remarkably, this small octopus constructs its own protective shelter using clam shells, coconuts, and even glass bottles! These intelligent creatures are very picky when it comes to choosing the perfect tools. They know that certain types and sizes of shell have their advantages, whether they be for shelter, camouflage, or concealing themselves from both prey and predator alike. It is safe to say that the coconut octopus is certainly one of the most scrappy, resourceful, and brainy creatures in the ocean.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Backstage at the Circus’ by Kirsten Luce
About this Photo: At the Saint Petersburg State Circus, bear trainer Grant Ibragimov performs his daily act with three Siberian brown bears.
The animals rehearse and then perform under the lights each evening. In order to train a bear to walk on two feet, Kirsten was told that they are chained by the neck to the wall when they are young to strengthen their leg muscles. Russia and Eastern Europe have a long history of training bears to dance or perform, and hundreds of bears continue to do so as part of the circus industry in this part of the world.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Drawn and Quartered’ by Laurent Ballesta
About this Photo: Scraps of grouper flesh fall from the jaws of two grey reef sharks as they tear the fish apart.
The sharks of Fakarava Atoll, French Polynesia, hunt in packs, but do not share their prey. A single shark is too clumsy to catch even a drowsy grouper. After hunting together to roust the grouper from its hiding place in the reef, the sharks encircle it, but then compete for the spoils – only a few sharks will have a part of the catch and most of them will remain unfed for several nights.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Coexistence’ by Pallavi Prasad Laveti
About this Photo: A cheeky Asian palm civet kitten peeps from a bag in a small remote village in India, curiosity and playfulness shining in its eyes.
This baby was orphaned and has lived its short life in the village backyard – comfortable in the company of locals, who have adopted the philosophy of ‘live and let live.’ Pallavi sees the image as one of hope, for in other parts of the world the civets are trapped for Kopi Luwak coffee production (coffee made from coffee beans that are partially digested and then pooped out by the civet) – where they are contained in tiny, unsanitary battery cages and force fed a restricted diet of coffee beans. She feels this image portrays a true essence of cohabitation.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Border Refuge’ by Joseph Dominic Anthony
About this Photo: Joseph formed the idea for this photograph in 2016 on a visit to Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong.
Taken within the Frontier Closed Area on the Chinese border, strictly timed access rules meant years of studying tide tables and waiting for the perfect weather. Joseph wanted to convey the story and mood of Mai Po in a single balanced photograph, combining individuals and the behavior of multiple species in the context of their wider environment, particularly to juxtapose the proximity of the ever encroaching urban development.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘White Danger’ by Petri Pietiläinen
About this Photo: While on a photography trip to the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard, Petri had hoped to spot polar bears.
When one was sighted in the distance on a glacier, he switched from the main ship to a smaller rubber boat to get a closer look. The bear was making its way towards a steep cliff and the birds that were nesting there. It tried and failed several routes to reach them, but perseverance, and probably hunger, paid off as it found its way to a barnacle goose nest. Panic ensued as the adults and some of the chicks jumped off the cliff, leaving the bear to feed on what remained.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Resting Dragon’ by Gary Meredith
About this Photo: The Great Sandy Desert in Western Australia is home to a wide variety of wildlife, which exists alongside man-made mining operations.
The wildlife found in this environment needs to adapt to the harsh, hostile living conditions. When the opportunity arises, the long-nosed dragon makes use of human structures. This individual positioned itself on a piece of wire mesh outside a workshop, waiting for the sun’s rays. The artificial light source outside the building attracts moths and insects, easy prey for a hungry lizard.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Close Encounter’ by Guillermo Esteves
About this Photo: The worried looking expression on this dog’s face speaks volumes and is a reminder that moose are large, unpredictable, wild animals.
Guillermo was photographing moose on the side of the road at Antelope Flats in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, USA, when this large bull took an interest in the furry visitor – the driver of the car unable to move it before the moose made its approach. Luckily, the moose lost interest and went on its way after a few moments.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Licence to Kill’ by Britta Jaschinski
About this Photo: Britta’s photographs of items seized at airports and borders across the globe are a quest to understand why some individuals continue to demand wildlife products, even if this causes suffering and, in some cases, pushes species to the brink of extinction.
This zebra head was confiscated at a border point in the USA. Most likely, the hunter was not able to show proof that the zebra was killed with a license. Britta found the use of a shopping trolley to move the confiscated item ironic, posing the question: wildlife or commodity?
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Turtle Time Machine’ by Thomas Peschak
About this Photo: During Christopher Columbus’s Caribbean voyage of 1494, green sea turtles were said to be so numerous that his ships almost ran aground on them.
Today the species is classified as endangered. However, at locations like Little Farmer’s Cay in the Bahamas, green turtles can be observed with ease. An ecotourism project run by fishermen (some who used to hunt turtles) uses shellfish scraps to attract the turtles to the dock. Without a time machine it is impossible to see the pristine turtle population, but Thomas hopes that this image provides just a glimpse of the bounty our seas once held.
Shortlisted Photograph: ‘Bushfire’ by Robert Irwin
About this Photo: A fire line leaves a trail of destruction through woodland near the border of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York, Queensland, Australia.
The area is of high conservation significance, with over 30 different ecosystems found there, and is home to many endangered species. The fires are one of the biggest threats to this precious habitat. Although natural fires or managed burns can be quite important in an ecosystem, when they are lit deliberately and without consideration, often to flush out feral pigs to hunt, they can rage out of control and have the potential to devastate huge areas.