The shortlist for Wildlife Photographer of the Year explores the natural world. Take a look.

  • The shortlist for the 58th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year award has been released.

  • The photos show unlikely animal friendships, the harsh reality of climate change, and stunning artistry.

  • Gaze through the lens of some of the world’s best wildlife photographs. Which is your favorite?

The shortlist for the 58th annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year award has been released.

The beautiful and powerful images, released by London’s Natural History Museum, showcase the top wildlife photography talent from across the world.

The pictures show incredible depictions of our natural world, from stunning animal portraits to unlikely animal friendships and painful shows of climate change and unsustainable human practices.

This year’s categories include Animal Portraits, Animals in Their Environment, Behavior, Natural Artistry, Underwater, Urban Wildlife, Photojournalism, and the Bigger Picture.

Tree frog pool party by Brandon Güell

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition: female treefrogs laying their eggs on palm fronds

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Behavior (Amphibians and Reptiles) category.Brandon Güell/Natural History Museum

This highly commended photo in the Behavior (Amphibians and Reptiles) category, tree frog pool party by Brandon Güell, was taken in the murky waters of the Osa Peninsula, Puntarenas, Costa Rica.

Güell waded through the waters, plagued by mosquitoes, to get this fantastic shot, where he waited until dawn to see thousands of female tree frogs come to lay their eggs on overhanging palm fronds.

This mass breeding event happens in just a few remote locations a few times a year, according to the Natural History Museum.

Wanted! by Britta Jaschinski

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition: A glowing piece of coltan surrounded by mining tools and gorilla bones

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, highly commended in the Photojournalism categoryBritta Jaschinkski/Natural History Museum

Highly commended in the Photojournalism category, Britta Jaschinski used a flashlight to bring attention to the effects of coltan mining.

The glowing blue rock in Jaschinski’s picture is coltan, a key component of phone and laptop batteries. She has placed the rock in the middle of animals impacted by the coltan mining industry, namely a gorilla skull, vertebrae, leg bone, and porcupine quills.

All of these animal remains were seized by customs authorities.

The bonobo and the mongoose by Christian Ziegle

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition: A bonobo cradling a mongoose pup

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, highly commended photo in the Mammal Behavior category.Christian Ziegler/Natural History Museum

This highly commended photo in the Mammal Behavior category depicts an unlikely friendship between a young male bonobo and a mongoose pup.

The pair, who were in the LuiKotale field site near Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo, embraced for over an hour, with the bonobo gently stroking the tiny baby.

The mongoose pup was released unharmed.

Dipper dispute by Heikki Nikki

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition: two dippers having a row

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition: two dippers having a row.Heikki Nikki/Natural History Museum

This picture, taken in North Ostrobothnia, Finland, shows two dippers fighting for a prime position on a set of rocks.

Dippers use rocks to launch themselves off before diving into waters to scour for small fish and larvae.

This photo by Nikki has been highly commended in the Behavior (birds) category.

The Lost Floods by Jasper Doest

The Lost Floods

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in The Bigger Picture (wetlands) category.Jasper Doest/Natural History Museum

Jasper Doest has taken this portrait of Lubinda Lubinda, station manager for the Zambezi River Authority, in the Barotse Floodplain in Zambia.

His photography highlights the impacts of the Zambezi droughts, depicted by his new house (right), built lower than his former home (left), as the water level is now so much lower.

The droughts have ravaged the floodplains that provided habitat for wildlife and fish and offered fertile soil, pasture, and thatching for local people.

This emotional shot by Doest is highly commended in The Bigger Picture (wetlands) category.

Life and death in fur farming by Jo-Anne McArthur

The treatment of American mink

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Photojournalism category.Jo-Anne McArthur/Natural History Museum

Jo-Anne McArthur’s shot, highly commended in the Photojournalism category, shows American mink fighting for space in a tiny cage on a fur farm.

McArthur uses her camera to document animal cruelty to push for change. A sign above these minks in Sweden shows that two have died.

The disappearing giraffe by Jose Fragozo

A giraffe's bottom

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Natural Artistry category.Jose Fragozo/Natural History Museum

Jose Fragozo used his highly commended photo in the Natural Artistry category to highlight the contrast between the natural world and human infrastructure.

Fragozo took the photos while on a moving vehicle in the Nairobi National Park in Kenya and managed to glimpse the world’s tallest land mammal as it disappeared behind a concrete pillar.

It was running through a stretch of railway built on high columns to allow animals to move freely underneath it.

The Natural History Museum says the piece symbolizes how the space for wildlife continues to be squeezed by man.

The snow stag by Joshua Cox

A deer having a snow shower

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Young Wildlife Photographer category.Joshua Cox/ Natural History Museum

This photo of a stag in Richmond Park, London, was captured by six-year-old Joshua Cox (now seven) while walking through the snowy park with his father.

They followed the deer at a distance before it stopped to look at the pair. At that time, the snow intensified, and Joshua took a photo of the majestic animal.

Joshua’s photo is highly commended in the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year category, under 10 years old.

A beetle and a rabbit having a sniff by Morgan Heim

A beetle and a rabbit having a sniff

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition in the Environment category.Morgan Heim/Natural History Museum

Morgan Heim captured this close encounter between a beetle and a rabbit in the Columbia Basin in Washington.

Her photo shows a pygmy rabbit taking a sniff of a stink beetle who was hiding in the rabbit’s burrows.

This shot of a potentially blooming friendship is highly commended in the Animals in the Environment category.

The right look by Richard Robinson

A whale of a time

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, highly commended in the Animal Portraits category.Richard Robinson/Natural History Museum

This image by Richard Robinson was captured in Port Ross, Auckland Island, New Zealand, under permission from the conservation department.

As he was taking underwater images, this young whale became fascinated with Ross. For 30 minutes, the pair swam together while Ross photographed the majestic giant of the ocean.

This documentation of their time together has been highly commended in the Animal Portraits category.

The octopus case by Samuel Sloss

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition: A house-hunting octopus

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, highly commended in the Young Wildlife Photographer category.Samuel Sloss/Natural History Museum

Fifteen-year-old Samuel Sloss was noticed by this coconut octopus in the Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi, Indonesia.

Sloss was muck diving when the little creature closed the lid of his shell when he approached. He couldn’t resist another peek, however, and opened up his shell far enough to allow Sloss to capture the image.

His shot has been highly commended in the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year category, ages 15-17 years.

Just one day’s catch by Srikanth Mannepuri

The daily catch for a fish market

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year, highly commended in The Bigger Picture (Oceans) category.Srikanth Mannepuri/Natural History Museum

Mannepuri photograph in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh, India, portrays the sobering amount of fish captured daily for human consumption.

For his photo, which is highly commended in The Bigger Picture (Oceans) category, Mannepuri used a drone to photograph the morning market, including marlin and sailfish for sale.

Sailfish and marlin are top ocean predators essential to ecosystems, says the Natural History Museum.

Many environmentalists are campaigning for an urgent reduction in fishing, with 90% of the world’s fish stocks now listed as fully exploited, over-exploited, or depleted.

Sloth dilemma by Suzi Eszterhas

An unlikely friendship

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, highly commended in the Urban Wildlife category.Suzi Eszterhas/Natural History Museum

Suzi Eszterhas caught a unique interaction between a dog and a sloth in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica. The brown-throated sloth had crossed the road and was on its way to a large clump of trees.

It froze as soon as it saw the large dog, which could seriously harm the forest creature. But, the dog simply sniffed the sloth and went on with his day.

This photo of this unlikely interaction has been highly commended in the Urban Wildlife category.

Underwater wonderland by Tiina Törmänen

An underwater community

A photo on the shortlist for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, highly commended in the Under Water category.Tiina Törmänen/Natural History Museum

Törmänen came face-to-face with a school of European perch when she was snorkeling in a lake in Posio, Finland.

The fish, and Törmänen, were swimming through sheets of cloud-like algae when they met. Although the algae made for a beautiful picture, its excessive growth results from climate change and warming waters and can block oxygen and sunlight from aquatic wildlife.

This photo is highly commended in the Under Water category.

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