Each year, more than 50,000 photographs are submitted to enter the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award at London’s Natural History Museum.
The jury selects 100 finalists, and an additional 25 photographs are chosen and voted on to receive the “Public Choice” award. Here’s a sample of this year’s finalists:
1. Dancing in the snow – Qiang Guo
In the Lishan Nature Reserve in Shanxi Province, China, Qiang watched as two male golden pheasants continuously swapped places on this trunk – their movements akin to a silent dance in the snow.
The birds are native to China, where they inhabit dense forests in mountainous regions. Although brightly colored, they are shy and difficult to spot, spending most of their time foraging for food on the dark forest floor, only flying to evade predators or to roost in very high trees during the night.
Have you ever seen a golden pheasant before? This regal image of two golden pheasants in the snow looks like something straight out of a fairy tale!— Wildlife Photographer of the Year (@NHM_WPY) February 16, 2022
Check out ‘Dancing in the snow’ by Qiang Guo and the top #WPYPeoplesChoice images: https://t.co/nksKNYCujG pic.twitter.com/8GA7UP9hnS
2. Peek a boo – Michiel Van Noppen
Michiel took this photo of Dantita, as she is fondly known, at the foothills of Braulio Carrillo National Park, close to San José in central Costa Rica.
The Baird’s tapir or ‘gardeners of the forest’ are extremely important to their natural habitat, with some seeds only germinating after passing through the tapir. But due to threats from deforestation and hunting, there are estimated to be only 6,000 individuals left in the wild. Conservation groups such as Proyecto Tapir Nicaragua and Nai Conservation have been set up to work closely with local communities to promote the importance of preserving the land and protecting an endangered species.
Fondly known as Dantita, this Baird’s tapir was photographed at the foothills of Braulio Carrillo National Park, in central Costa Rica. Known as 'gardeners of the forest', they're very important to their natural habitat.— Royal Ontario Museum (@ROMtoronto) May 20, 2022
📸: Peek a boo by Michiel Van Noppen, The Netherlands pic.twitter.com/Fkt2uVWiz4
3. Shelter from the rain – Ashleigh McCord
During a visit to the Maasai Mara, Kenya, Ashleigh captured this tender moment between a pair of male lions.
At first, she had been taking pictures of only one of the lions, and the rain was just a light sprinkle, although the second had briefly approached and greeted his companion before choosing to walk away. But as the rain turned into a heavy downpour, the second male returned and sat, positioning his body as if to shelter the other. Shortly after they rubbed faces and continued to sit nuzzling for some time. Ashleigh stayed watching them until the rain was falling so hard that they were barely visible.
Father and son? #FathersDay— Amgueddfa Caerdydd (@Museum_Cardiff) June 19, 2022
📷Shelter from the rain, Ashleigh McCord
During a visit to the Maasai Mara, Kenya, Ashleigh captured this tender moment between a pair of male lions
Wildlife Photographer of the Year #WPY57
Visit the exhibition this summerhttps://t.co/eexdp3iYmR pic.twitter.com/tLjVVz7Yk9
4. Barracudas – Yung Sen Wu
It was the schooling barracudas at Blue Corner, Palau, in the western Pacific, that grabbed Yung’s attention while diving in the turquoise seascape.
He had been swimming with them for four days, but their formation constantly changed shape and he could not find the perfect angle. On the fifth day his luck changed when the fish seemed to accept him into the group. Surrounded by the barracudas, he started to imagine how one fish sees another while swimming, and this was the picture he wanted. The fish were fast, and he had to swim hard to keep his place in the school. At the end of an exhausting 50 minutes, he got his perfect ‘fish eye’ view.
Watching the world from a fisheye view. 👁️ It was these schooling barracudas at Blue Corner, Palau that grabbed Yung Sen Wu’s attention while diving in the turquoise seascape.— Wildlife Photographer of the Year (@NHM_WPY) December 29, 2021
Vote for this photo to win #WPYPeoplesChoice now: https://t.co/nksKNYU5be pic.twitter.com/WODpHIwpem
Until February 2nd, 2022, you can choose your favorite photograph and vote here. The winner will be announced on February 9th.