London’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Winners and Exhibit

Wildlife photographer of the year competition winners

London’s Natural History Museum in South Kensington has just launched their fifty-third Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition. The exhibit features 100 original photographic images that record the beauty and drama of the natural world, from tiny insects to massive mammals.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Winners and Exhibit

The 2017 competition attracted almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 92 countries.The winning images were selected by a panel of judges for their creativity, originality and technical excellence. Images get bonus points if they tell a broader story about the current challenges facing wildlife and the environment.

This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year winning image, by photojournalist Brent Stirton is difficult to look at. It captures the aftermath of an act of brutality: a dead black rhino, killed for its commercially valuable horn.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition Winners and Exhibit
‘Memorial to a Species’ by Brent Stirton of South Africa is winner of Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 2017

Museum mammal expert Richard Sabin explains why images like this matter, despite being hard to look at: “The outlook is bleak for black rhinos. They have been critically endangered since 1996, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports that the population has declined by an estimated 97.6% since 1960.

The mammals are slaughtered in huge numbers for their horns, which are used in traditional medicine and for decoration, and can be worth more than their weight in gold in illegal international markets.

Members of the conservation organisation Saving the Survivors start the long process of healing the face of a rhino whose horn was hacked off by poachers. Saving Hope © Brent Stirton.

Global demand for the horns fuels both crude poaching networks in southern African countries (the heartland of the black rhino) and larger organized crime networks.”

Photojournalist Brent Stirton is documenting the cruelty and tragedy of the trade in rhino horn.

You can learn more about Hope’s Story here.

Caring for Lulah © Brent Stirton. This orphan is called Lulah. Her mother was killed in Kruger National Park in South Africa.

2017 is the first year Brent has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year grand title. He has won Wildlife Photographer of the Year photojournalism awards in the past, along with many other international awards for his long-term investigative projects. See more of his amazing work at his website here.

Visit Saving The Survivors

Winners, Finalists and Highlights

Now, here are a few more breathtaking highlights from the competition.

‘Swim gym’ by Laurent Ballesta of France
Ashleigh Scully of the United States, in the 11- to 14-year-old group, ‘Bear hug,’ Alaska’s Lake Clark National Park.
‘Bold eagle,’ on Amaknak Island in Alaska, by Klaus Nigge of Germany
'Resplendent delivery' by Tyohar Kastiel of Israel
‘Resplendent delivery’ by Tyohar Kastiel of Israel
Andrey Narchuk photo
Andrey Narchuk’s photo of mating sea angels in Russia, ‘Romance among the angels’
Laura Albiac Vilas Lynx photo
Laura Albiac Vilas of Spain, in the 11- to 14-year-old group,  ‘Glimpse of a lynx.’
David Lloyd elephant photo
‘The power of the matriarch,’ taken at Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve by David Lloyd of New Zealand and the U.K.
'Saved but caged' by Steve Winter
‘Saved but caged’ by Steve Winter of the United States
'The Good Life' by Daniël Nelso
‘The Good Life’ by Daniël Nelson, Netherlands. Winner of Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, 2017.
'Polar pas de deux', Eilo Elvinger of Luxembourg
‘Polar pas de deux’, Eilo Elvinger of Luxembourg, Black and White category winner
'Giant gathering' by Tony Wu
‘Giant gathering’ by Tony Wu of the U.S.
'Sewage surfer' by Justin Hofman of the United States.
‘Sewage surfer’ by Justin Hofman of the United States.
'Winter pause' by Mats Andersson
‘Winter pause’ by Mats Andersson of Sweden

At top:

'Arctic treasure' by Sergey Gorshkov
‘Arctic treasure’ by Sergey Gorshkov

You can view all the winners of the 2017 National Wildlife Photography Competition here.

The images will be on exhibit from 20 October 2017 until 28 May 2018.

The Natural History Museum

all images and information courtesy of the Natural History Museum in London