2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners

national history museum wildlife photos

Once again, London’s Natural History Museum has honored the top Wildlife Photographers of the Year with their winning picks in several categories ranging from animal behavior to underwater photography. In addition to the winners, selected from over 48,000 entries from 100 countries, they have recognized several “highly commended” photographs as well.

2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Winners

Here are the winning photos in each category.

Grand Title
The largest honor went to Yongqing Bao for this picture of a standoff between a Tibetan fox and a marmot, captured at China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve. The image was awarded the grand title in the 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

funny wildlife photos
photo by Yongqing Bao

Portfolio award.
Part of his award-winning photo series, this picture by German photographer Stefan Christmann shows 5,000 male emperor penguins huddling against the wind on the sea ice of Antarctica’s Atka Bay.

photo by Stefan Christmann
photo by Stefan Christmann

Animals in their environment.
Chinese photographer Shangzhen Fan won this category for his photo of a herd of Tibetan antelope leaving a trail of footprints in the snow, on the slopes of China’s Kumukuli Desert.

Shangzhen Fan
photo by Shangzhen Fan

Animal portraits.
Ripan Biswas was photographing an ant colony in West Bengal, India, when he noticed this imposter — a crab spider, which had been mimicking his neighbors in order to infiltrate the colony and eventually feast on its inhabitants.

photo by Ripan Biswas
photo by Ripan Biswas

Plants and fungi.
The arms of a Monterey cypress tree twist and weave outwards in California’s Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, in a picture taken by Zorica Kovacevic.

photo by Zorica Kovacevic
photo by Zorica Kovacevic

Black and white.
Max Waugh took this picture of a lone American bison in Yellowstone National Park, during a brutal snowfall.

wildlife photography winners
photo by Max Waugh

Behavior: Birds.
Audun Rikardsen bolted a camera and tripod, complete with a motion sensor, to a tree branch near his home in Norway. It took three years for this golden eagle to get used to the camera and start using the branch to survey the landscape below.

photo by Audun Rikardsen
photo by Audun Rikardsen

Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles.
Manuel Plaickner’s photo shows a mass migration of frogs at a pond in South Tyrol, Italy.

photo by Manuel Plaickner
photo by Manuel Plaickner

Behavior: Mammals (joint winner).
A puma attacks a guanaco in Patagonia, Chile. Ingo Arndt shared the category prize with the overall winner, Yongqing Bao, after spending seven months tracking wild pumas on foot.

cougar catching puma
photo by Ingo Arndt

David Doubilet caught this colony of garden eels, which stretched nearly to the size of a football field, deep within the famous “Coral Triangle” off the coast of the Philippines.

photo by David Doubilet
photo by David Doubilet

Urban wildlife.
A spine-tingling city scene on Pearl Street, Lower Manhattan, shows brown rats scampering near their home under a tree grille. Charlie Hamilton James captured the group as they went looking for food on New York’s sidewalks.

photo by Charlie Hamilton James

Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image.
A photo of a male jaguar is projected onto a part of the US-Mexico border fence, on a star-filled night in Arizona. The moment was captured by Alejandro Prieto.

photo of cheetah by Alejandro Prieto
photo by Alejandro Prieto

Earth’s Environments.
Lava flows into the Pacific Ocean following an eruption of Kîlauea, an active volanco on Hawaii’s Big Island. This aerial image was taken by Luis Vilariño Lopez.

volcano hawaii
photo by Luis Vilariño Lopez

Wildlife Photojournalist Story Award.
Riku, a Japanese macaque legally captured in the wild, has performed comedy skits three times a day to audiences at the Nikkō Saru Gundan theatre, north of Tokyo. Jasper Doest, who gained permission to photograph one of Riku’s shows, was appalled that such creatures were exploited for comedy.

Riku show photo by Jasper Doest
Riku show photo by Jasper Doest

Behaviour: Invertebrates.
Daniel Kronauer caught a swarm of army ants moving through a rainforest in northeastern Costa Rica.

Daniel Kronauer caught a swarm of army ants moving through a rainforest in northeastern Costa Rica.
photo by Daniel Kronauer

Rising Star Portfolio Award.
Jérémie Villet spent a month in the middle of winter observing North American mountain sheep in Yukon, northwest Canada.

photo by Jérémie Villet
photo by Jérémie Villet

10 years old and younger.
Young photographer Thomas Easterbrook took this remarkable picture of a hummingbird hawkmoth while on holiday with his family in France.

10 years and younger wildlife photo winner 2019 Thomas Easterbrook
photo by Thomas Easterbrook

11-14 years old.
Cruz Erdmann was diving off Indonesia when he came across a big fin reef squid glowing underwater.

squid photo by Cruz Erdmann
photo by Cruz Erdmann

15-17 years old.
Italian teen Riccardo Marchgiani found this female gelada monkey, with a week-old infant clinging to her belly, climbing over a cliff edge in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park.

female gelada monkey with infant photo by Riccardo Marchgiani
photo by Riccardo Marchgiani

Be sure to see all of the highly commended photographs as well as the winners here.

For keen photographers, the next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries on Monday 21 October. Visit here for more details.

all images and information courtesy of the London Natural History Museum