It's time to head back to the polls, but this time all the choices are wildlife.
This year's 25 finalists were chosen from a pool of more than 49,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across the world. They range from the haunting goodbye of thelast male northern white rhino on Earth一张穴居猫头鹰的家庭肖像。
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. The competition is now in its 56th year. Voting is open until February 2. The winner will be showcased in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum until July 4, 2021.
Here's a look at all 25 images on the shortlist, including what the museum directors have to say about each one. Above is "The Last Goodbye" taken by Ami Vitale of the U.S.
"Joseph Wachira comforts Sudan, the last male northern white rhino left on the planet, moments before he passed away at Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. Suffering from age-related complications, he died surrounded by the people who had cared for him. With every extinction we suffer more than loss of ecosystem health. When we see ourselves as part of nature, we understand that saving nature is really about saving ourselves. Ami's hope is that Sudan’s legacy will serve as a catalyst to awaken humanity to this reality."
Take a look at the rest of the finalists, and then head to the polls.
“全家福”by Andrew Lee, USA
Capturing a family portrait of mum, dad and their eight chicks proved tricky for Andrew — they never got together to pose as a perfect 10. Burrowing owls of Ontario, California often have large families so he knew it wouldn’t be easy. After many days of waiting, and when dad was out of sight, mum and her brood suddenly turned wide-eyed to glance in his direction — the first time he had seen them all together. He quickly seized the precious moment.
"Hare Ball" by Andy Parkinson, UK
"License to Kill" by Britta Jaschinski, Germany
Britta’s photographs of items seized at airports and borders across the globe are a quest to understand why some individuals continue to demand wildlife products, even if this causes suffering and, in some cases, pushes species to the brink of extinction. This zebra head was confiscated at a border point in the USA. Most likely, the hunter was not able to show proof that the zebra was killed with a license. Britta found the use of a shopping trolley to move the confiscated item ironic, posing the question: wildlife or commodity?
"Bat Woman" by Douglas Gimesy, Australia
"Spirit of Bhutan" by Emmanuel Rondeau, France
"Resting Dragon" by Gary Meredith, Australia
澳大利亚西部的大沙沙漠e to a wide variety of wildlife, which exists alongside man-made mining operations. The wildlife found in this environment needs to adapt to the harsh, hostile living conditions. When the opportunity arises, the long-nosed dragon makes use of human structures. This individual positioned itself on a piece of wire mesh outside a workshop, waiting for the sun’s rays. The artificial light source outside the building attracts moths and insects, easy prey for a hungry lizard.
The worried looking expression on this dog’s face speaks volumes and is a reminder that moose are large, unpredictable, wild animals. Guillermo was photographing moose on the side of the road at Antelope Flats in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, when this large bull took an interest in the furry visitor — the driver of the car unable to move it before the moose made its approach. Luckily, the moose lost interest and went on its way after a few moments.
"Border Refuge" by Joseph Dominic Anthony, Hong Kong/UK
Joseph formed the idea for this photograph in 2016 on a visit to Mai Po Nature Reserve in Hong Kong. Taken within the Frontier Closed Area on the Chinese border, strictly timed access rules meant years of studying tide tables and waiting for the perfect weather. Joseph wanted to convey the story and mood of Mai Po in a single balanced photograph, combining individuals and the behavior of multiple species in the context of their wider environment, particularly to juxtapose the proximity of the ever encroaching urban development.
“真正的花园侏儒”by Karine Aigner, USA
Located a short ride from the Florida Everglades, Marco Island is the largest and only developed land in Florida's Ten Thousand Barrier Islands. This Gulf Coast retreat offers luxury resorts, beautiful beaches, multimillion-dollar neighborhoods and, surprisingly, a thriving community of Florida burrowing owls. The owls dig their own burrows and are happy to take up residence on meticulously manicured lawns, the perfect place to hunt insects and lizards. The Marco Island owls are the new neighbors, and their human friends are (mostly!) thrilled to have them around.
At the Saint Petersburg State Circus, bear trainer Grant Ibragimov performs his daily act with three Siberian brown bears. The animals rehearse and then perform under the lights each evening. In order to train a bear to walk on two feet, Kirsten was told that they are chained by the neck to the wall when they are young to strengthen their leg muscles. Russia and Eastern Europe have a long history of training bears to dance or perform, and hundreds of bears continue to do so as part of the circus industry in this part of the world.
“四分五裂”by Laurent Ballesta, France
"The Alpha" by Mogens Trolle, Denmark
Of all the different primate species Mogens has photographed, the mandrill has proved the most difficult to reach, preferring to hide in tropical forests in remote parts of Central Africa. This made the experience of sitting next to this impressive alpha, as he observed his troop above, even more special. When a male becomes alpha, he undergoes physical changes that accompany a rise in testosterone levels, and this results in the colors on his snout becoming much brighter. With the loss of status, the colors fade. Mogens used a flash to enhance the vivid colors and textures against the dark forest background.
"Drey Dreaming" by Neil Anderson, UK
"A Special Moment" by Oliver Richter, Germany
Oliver has observed the European beavers near his home in Grimma, Saxony, Germany, for many years, watching as they redesign the landscape to create valuable habitats for many species of wildlife including kingfishers and dragonflies. This family portrait is at the beavers’ favorite feeding place and, for Oliver, the image reflects the care and love the adult beavers show towards their young.
"White Danger" by Petri Pietiläinen, Finland
"Bushfire" by Robert Irwin, Australia
火行留下了毁灭的证据woodland near the border of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York, Queensland, Australia. The area is of high conservation significance, with over 30 different ecosystems found there, and is home to many endangered species. The fires are one of the biggest threats to this precious habitat. Although natural fires or managed burns can be quite important in an ecosystem, when they are lit deliberately and without consideration, often to flush out feral pigs to hunt, they can rage out of control and have the potential to devastate huge areas.
This coconut octopus was spotted walking around the black sand of the Lembeh Strait, Sulawesi carrying its house made of shells. Remarkably, this small octopus constructs its own protective shelter using clam shells, coconuts, and even glass bottles! These intelligent creatures are very picky when it comes to choosing the perfect tools. They know that certain types and sizes of shell have their advantages, whether they be for shelter, camouflage, or concealing themselves from both prey and predator alike. It is safe to say that the coconut octopus is certainly one of the most scrappy, resourceful, and brainy creatures in the ocean.
“生命之窗”by Sergio Marijuán Campuzano, Spain
Two Iberian lynx kittens, Quijote and Queen, play in the abandoned hayloft where they were born. Extremely curious, but a bit scared as well, they started exploring the outside world through the windows of their straw-bale home. The reintroduction of the species to eastern Sierra Morena, Spain, has seen them, in more recent years, take advantage of some human environments. Their mother, Odrina, was also born in the hayloft, and her mother Mesta stayed with her for a whole year before leaving her daughter this safe and cozy place to raise her own family.
"Life Saver" by Sergio Marijuán Campuzano, Spain
《狮子王》作者：Wim van den Heever，南非