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Spectacular Victors of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest

Karine Aigner, Wildlife Photographer of the Year

This captivating photograph by Karine Aigner has taken the top prize in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The image showcases male cactus bees scrambling on the hot sands of a Texas ranch, all vying for the attention of a single female. Aigner’s use of a macro lens provides a unique perspective on insect behavior, emphasizing the movement and intensity of the scene. Chair of the jury, Rosamund Kidman Cox, praised the photo for its ability to transform tiny bees into big competitors in the quest for reproduction.

Tony Wu secured the underwater category with his remarkable photograph of a male Leiaster leachi sea star releasing sperm into the sea. This shot was taken in the dark waters near an active volcano in southern Japan. Interestingly, the volcano erupted shortly after Wu left the area. Despite the challenging conditions, Wu managed to capture the sea star, which measured between 40 and 45 centimeters in diameter, using a macro lens. His intention was to showcase the beauty of animals that are not traditionally seen as charismatic.

Tony Wu, Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Daniel Núñez claimed victory in the wetlands category with his powerful drone photograph of Lake Amatitlán in Guatemala. The image highlights the extent of contamination in the lake, which receives approximately 75,000 tonnes of waste each year from Guatemala City. The lush rainforest serves as a stark contrast to the green algal blooms that flourish due to the presence of pollutants.

Junji Takasago triumphed in the natural artistry category with his surreal shot of Chilean flamingos seemingly floating among the reflected clouds in the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt pan in the world located high in the Andes. Takasago describes the scene as a harmonious display of nature. However, the Salar de Uyuni is also home to one of Bolivia’s largest lithium mines, posing a threat to the habitat of these magnificent flamingos.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition is organized by the Natural History Museum in London.


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