SEVERAL finalists from this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been announced – and their images from are no less than stunning. Run by the Natural History Museum in London, it’s the contest every wildlife photographer wants to win, attracting 50,000 entries every year. Here we present four of the best from this year’s shortlist.
GLIMPSE OF A LYNX BY LAURA ALBIAC VILAS, SPAIN Category: young wildlife photographer of the year
The Iberian lynx is an endangered cat found only in two small populations in southern Spain. Laura’s family travelled to the Sierra de Andujar Natural Park in search of the lynx, and struck lucky on their second day, when they spotted a pair relaxing not far from the road. “The animals’ attitude surprised me. They weren’t scared of people – they simply ignored us,” says Laura.
SAGUARO TWIST BY JACK DYKINGA, US Category: plants and fungi
These emblematic saguaro cacti – up to 200 years old – command the landscape of Arizona’s Sonoran Desert National Monument. “This one allowed me to get right inside its limbs,” says Jack. As the dawn light bathed the saguaro’s contorted form, Jack’s wide angle revealed its furrowed arms, framing its neighbours before the Sand Tank Mountains.
WINTER PAUSE BY MATS ANDERSSON, SWEDEN Category: black and white
Mats walks in the forest near his home in southern Sweden every day, often stopping to watch red squirrels foraging in the spruce trees. On this cold, February morning, the squirrel’s demeanour encapsulated the spirit of winter, captured by Mats using the soft-light grain of black and white.
THE INSIDERS BY QING LIN, CHINA Category: underwater
While diving in the Lembeh Strait in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Qing noticed something strange about this group of anemone fish. Each one had an extra pair of eyes inside its mouth – those of a parasitic isopod, a crustacean related to woodlice.