16 incredible pictures from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2020 © Gary Meredith

16 incredible pictures from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2020

The annual exhibition will open to the public in London’s Natural History Museum on 16 October 2020.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is always a source of stunning images of the natural world, and this year’s entries are no exception.

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The 56th year of the competition gives us a fascinating insight into the lives of animals around the world that we’d otherwise never get to see.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. The annual exhibition will open to the public on 16 October 2020.

See more amazing nature photos:

Treetop douc

Highly Commended 2020, 11-14 Years Old: Arshdeep Singh, India

© Arshdeep Singh
© Arshdeep Singh

This douc langur was snapped near Son Tra Nature Reserve, Vietnam’s last coastal rainforest. Found only in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the primate is threatened by habitat loss, hunting and trade.

Eye of the drought

Highly Commended 2020, Animal Portraits: Jose Fragozo, Portugal

© Jose Fragoso
© Jose Fragoso

Hippos spend the day submerged in mud to keep their temperature constant and their sensitive skin out of the sun, and at night they emerge to graze on the floodplains. This one is in a remnant of the drought-stricken Mara River.

The spider’s supper

Highly Commended 2020, Behaviour: Invertebrates: Jaime Culebras, Spain

© Jaime Culebras
© Jaime Culebras

A wandering spider chows down on the eggs of a giant glass frog in a stream in Manduriacu Reserve, north western Ecuador.

Paired-up puffins

Highly Commended 2020, 11-14 Years Old: Evie Easterbook, UK

© Evie Easterbrook
© Evie Easterbrook

Every spring, the Farne Islands off Northumberland attract more than 100,000 breeding pairs of seabirds. Here, a pair of Atlantic puffins sit nestled in their burrow.

Surprise!

Highly Commended 2020, Behaviour: Mammals: Makoto Ando, Japan

© Makoto Ando
© Makoto Ando

A pair of Ural owls catch a red squirrel by surprise in Hokkaido, Japan. Red squirrels are often prey to Ural owls, but this one made its escape.

Wind birds

Highly Commended 2020, Behviour: Birds: Alessandra Meniconzi, Switzerland

© Alessandra Meniconzi
© Alessandra Meniconzi

These yellow-billed choughs loved the wind atop the Alpstein Massif of the Swiss Alps. These gregarious mountain birds nest in rocky ravines and on cliff faces, staying with their partners throughout the year.

Peeking possums

Highly Commended 2020, Urban Wildlife: Gary Meredith, Australia

© Gary Meredith
© Gary Meredith

A common brushtail possum (left) and her joey peeking out from under a roof in Yallingup, Western Australia. These small, adaptable marsupials naturally occur in Australia’s forests and woodlands, taking shelter in tree hollows, but in more urban areas, they may use roof spaces.

The night shift

Highly Commended 2020, Under Water: Laurent Ballesta, France

© Laurent Ballesta
© Laurent Ballesta

Topshells, a type of mollusc reaching up to 15cm across their base, spend the day hiding in crevices among corals, usually on the outer fringes of the reef, withstanding the strong currents and surf. At night, they emerge to graze on algal pavements and coral rubble.

The rat game

Highly Commended 2020, Behaviour: Mammals: Matthew Maran, UK

© Matthew Maran
© Matthew Maran

With a determined stare, a young fox holds tight to her trophy – a dead brown rat – as her brother attempts to take it off her. With their long, narrow jaws and thin canines, foxes are designed to hunt small rodents in a ‘pounce and hold’ way.

The perfect catch

Highly Commended 2020, 15-17 Years Old: Hannah Vijayan, Canada

© Hannah Vijayan
© Hannah Vijayan

A brown bear pulls a salmon from the shallows of a river in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. The huge park contains Pacific coastline, mountains, lakes, rivers and an estimated 2,200 brown bears.

Head start

Highly Commended 2020, Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles: Dhritiman Mukherjee, India

© Dhiritiman Mukherjee
© Dhiritiman Mukherjee

Male gharials, like this one photographed in National Chambal Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, northern India, mate with several females who all nest close together to produce a huge brood of hatchlings.

The forest born of fire

Highly Commended 2020, Plants and Fungi: Andrea Pozzi, Italy

© Andrea Pozzi
© Andrea Pozzi

The Araucanía region of Chile is named after its Araucaria trees – here standing tall against a backdrop of late-autumn southern beech forest. Native to central and southern Chile and western Argentina, this Araucaria species was introduced to Europe in the late 18th Century, where it was grown as a curiosity.

A risky business

Highly Commended 2020, Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image: Quentin Martinez, France

© Quentin Martinez
© Quentin Martinez

A market trader slices up fruit bats in Tomohon Market in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia. Since the arrival of COVID-19, which is suspected to have originated in a similar market in China, there have been calls to ban the sale and butchery of live wild animals.

Amazon burning

Highly Commended 2020, Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image: Charlie Hamilton James, UK

© Charlie Hamilton James
© Charlie Hamilton James

A fire burns out of control in Maranhão state, northeastern Brazil. In 2015, more than half the state’s primary forest was destroyed by fires started by illegal logging on indigenous land.

Memorial to the albatrosses

Highly Commended 2020, Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image: Thomas P Peschak, Germany/South Africa

© Thomas P Peschak
© Thomas P Peschak

Unlikely as it seems, this display illustrates a South African conservation success story. It represents the comparatively smaller number of deaths of seabirds – here shy albatrosses and a yellow-nosed albatross (a longline hook still in its bill) and white‑chinned petrels – caught in 2017 on longlines set by Japanese tuna-fishing boats off South Africa’s coast.

World of tar

Highly Commended 2020, Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image: Garth Lenz, Canada

© Garth Lenz
© Garth Lenz

As twilight falls on the Alberta tar sands, the stripped landscape takes on an oily blue tint. This vast expanse – once boreal forest – is just one section of the Mildred Lake Tar Mine, itself just one of the region’s many tar mines that together form the world’s third largest oil reserve.

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