Snowy scenes from the 2018 Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year com­pe­ti­tion.

The Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year com­pe­ti­tion has grown ex­po­nen­tially since it first ran in 1965, in con­junc­tion with BBC Wildlife mag­a­zine. The Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum joined the com­pe­ti­tion in 1984 and it is now run and owned by them. For the 2018 edi­tion, more than 45 000 en­tries were re­ceived from around the world and the jury of six had the im­pos­si­ble task of choos­ing the best of the best. The win­ners were an­nounced in Oc­to­ber. Dutch pho­tog­ra­pher Marsel van Oosten won the over­all prize in the adult cat­e­gory for his star­tling image of a pair of golden snub-nosed mon­keys, and 16-year-old Skye Meaker from South Africa took home the big prize in the ju­nior cat­e­gory for his beau­ti­ful por­trait of a leop­ard in Mashatu Game Re­serve. Two other South Africans also ex­celled: Thomas Peschak won the “Be­hav­iour: Birds” cat­e­gory and Tertius Gous was highly com­mended in the “Be­hav­iour: Mam­mals” cat­e­gory. Un­for­tu­nately we can’t pub­lish all of the win­ning pho­tos, so we’ve de­cided to show­case snowy scenes from earth’s rapidly chang­ing po­lar re­gions – places at the front line of cli­mate change. Bask in the glory of these im­ages and re­mem­ber that there’s still time to make a dif­fer­ence…

Silent skir­mish Michel d’Oul­tremont, Bel­gium

In a win­ter white-out in Cam­brai, France, two short-eared owls fly away af­ter squab­bling over a cap­tured mouse. “The mouse fell and es­caped alive,” says Michel, who took the photo from his car. Short-eared owls are solo hunters and de­tect their small prey by lis­ten­ing for rustling in veg­e­ta­tion. This photo is unique be­cause it’s rare to see two owls fight­ing over prey. It might be be­cause food was scarce in the snow­cov­ered land­scape. This photo was part of a se­lec­tion that won Michel the Ris­ing Star Port­fo­lio Award for emerg­ing pho­tog­ra­phers aged 18 – 26.

HOW? EOS 5D Mark III, 500 mm lens, shut­ter speed 1/640 sec­ond, aper­ture f4.5, ISO 1 250.

For a gallery of all the win­ners, visit nhm.ac.uk/wpy. You’ll also find de­tails about how to en­ter the 2019 com­pe­ti­tion. En­tries close on 13 De­cem­ber.

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