Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022 People’s Choice Award – Design You Trust

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022 People’s Choice Award

1
Hyena highway by Sam Rowley, UK. Spotted hyenas are intelligent and opportunistic animals. On the outskirts of cities such as Harar in Ethiopia, they take advantage of what humans leave behind like bones and rotting meat. In so doing, the hyenas keep disease at bay and the locals tolerate them, even leaving out butcher’s scraps.To capture these hyenas from the family group known as the Highway Clan, Sam set up a remote camera by a roadkill carcass. He photographed the lowest-ranking member of the clan after the dominant members had sauntered off. (Photo by Sam Rowley/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

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2
Among the flowers by Martin Gregus, Canada. Martin watched this polar bear cub playing in a mass of fireweed on the coast of Hudson Bay, Canada. Every so often the cub would stand on its hind legs and poke its head up above the flowers to look for its mother. Wanting to capture the world from the cub’s angle, Martin placed his camera at ground level and waited at a safe distance with a remote trigger. Not being able to see exactly what was happening, Martin had to judge the right moment when the bear would pop up in the camera frame. (Photo by Martin Gregus/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

3
That’s the spot! by Richard Flack, South Africa. In South Africa’s Kruger national park, Richard discovered a flock of crested guinea fowl which allowed him to follow them as they foraged. One of the guinea fowl started to scratch another’s head and ear, while the recipient stood motionless for a few moments, its mouth open and eyes wide, as if to say, ‘that’s the spot, keep going’. ‘It’s not often you get to capture emotion in the faces of birds … but there was no doubt – that was one satisfied guinea fowl!’ says Richard. (Photo by Richard Flack/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

4
Fishing for glass eels by Eladio Fernandez, Dominican Republic. Eladio set out to highlight the plight of the endangered American eel. Caught in its juvenile stage, as glass eels, it is exported in the millions each year to Asia. On the coast of the Dominican Republic, over five months, hundreds of fishers gather from dawn to dusk to catch the little eels. These larvae have migrated from the Sargasso Sea, where the adult eels spawn. The US fishery is now tightly controlled, leaving the Caribbean to export without regulations. The image took Eladio many nights of trial and error, using a long exposure to catch the moment the fishers raised their nets out of the incoming waves. (Photo by Eladio Fernandez/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

5
A golden huddle by Minqiang Lu, China. Two females and a male golden snub-nosed monkey huddle together to keep warm in the extreme cold. Threatened by forest loss and fragmentation, this endangered species is confined to central China. Restricted to living high up in the temperate forests, these monkeys – here in the Qinling mountains in Shaanxi province – feed mostly in the trees, on leaves, bark, buds and lichen. In heavy wind and snow, Minqiang walked up the mountain carrying his equipment. He stayed for half an hour in temperatures of –10C opposite the tree where the group was huddled before achieving this eye-level composition. (Photo by Minqiang Lu/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

6
Caribbean creche by Claudio Contreras Koob, Mexico. Claudio was lying down on the mud a safe distance from a breeding colony of Caribbean, or American, flamingos, in Ría Lagartos biosphere reserve, on the Yucatán Peninsula, Mexico. It was June and the flamingo chicks had left their nests and were in creches guarded by adult birds. When the chicks began to approach Claudio, the adults surrounded them and guided them back into the colony. (Photo by Claudio Contreras Koob/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

7
Wasp attack by Roberto García-Roa, Spain. The frenzied combat between the pompilid wasp and the ornate Ctenus spider suddenly stopped. An intense calm invaded the scene, said Roberto, who had been watching the battle unfold in the Peruvian jungle of Tambopata. The image shows the wasp checking the spider to confirm if its sting has paralysed the dangerous prey, before dragging it back to its nest. Wasps of the Pompilidae family are called spider wasps because the females specialise in hunting spiders, which are used as living food for their offspring. (Photo by Roberto García-Roa/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

8
Unlucky for the cat by Sebastian Kennerknecht, US. Hanging in a shed, this stuffed cat skin may at first appear as inconsequential as the other objects, but the colourful yarns tied to it reveal it is not a disused item. The relationship between the Andean cat and its human neighbours is complex. The cats are celebrated as mountain guardians and also considered good luck for the fertility of livestock. For this they are killed and sometimes worn during ceremonies to induce an abundant year. This stuffed specimen turned out to be the closest Sebastian would come to South America’s most endangered wild cat. (Photo by Sebastian Kennerknecht/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

9
The elusive golden cat by Sebastian Kennerknecht, US. Before this image was captured, Sebastian and his biologist friend David Mills were almost trampled in the dense rainforest of Kibale national park in Uganda by a charging forest elephant. Returning to the same area, they set up a camera trap with the goal of photographing the rare and elusive African golden cat. About twice the size of a domestic cat, it is one of the world’s least-studied felids. To date, there are still less than five high-resolution photographs of this cat in the wild. (Photo by Sebastian Kennerknecht/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

10
The frog with the ruby eyes by Jaime Culebras, Spain. The calls of the male mindo glass frogs could be heard all around this female sitting quietly on a leaf. These frogs are confident around humans, and Jaime thought this one had the most beautiful ‘ruby’ eyes, so he carefully moved his camera, tripod and flashes to be close enough to capture a portrait that would highlight them. Only found in north-west Ecuador, in the Río Manduriacu reserve in the foothills of the Andes, these frogs are endangered by habitat loss associated with mining and logging. (Photo by Jaime Culebras/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

11
Caught by the cat by Michał Michlewicz, Poland. Michał had noticed a lot of animals were visiting this abandoned barn in Radolinek, a small village in western Poland, probably following the scent of rodent prey. With the use of his trail cam, Michał logged a badger, a fox and a marten, and a lot of cat activity. He set up a camera trap inside the barn and waited to see what would trigger it. Luckily, though not for this chaffinch, a domestic cat arrived with its fresh kill. Michał is keen to illustrate the impact of domestic cats on local ecosystems. (Photo by Michał Michlewicz/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

12
Head to head by Miquel Angel Artús Illana, Spain. The spectacle of two female muskoxen attacking each other surprised Miquel. For four days, he had been following a muskox family in Norway’s Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella national park – a male, a female and three calves. On a high plateau, another similar-sized family of muskox appeared. Expecting a male head to head (it was September and the females were in heat), he was disappointed when the two males came to an understanding and the weaker one backed off. It was then that the two females began a short but intense fight. (Photo by Miquel Angel Artús Illana/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

13
Life and art by Eduardo Blanco Mendizabal, Spain. Walking down a street in his home town of Corella in northern Spain, Eduardo came across a wall with a graffiti cat, complete with shadow. Knowing that common wall geckos emerge on hot summer nights to look for mosquitoes and other insects, Eduardo returned with his camera and waited for the perfect picture – the hunter becoming prey to the trompe l’oeil cat. (Photo by Eduardo Blanco Mendizabal/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

14
Red and yellow by Chloé Bès, France. Near Rausu port, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, several hundred glaucous-winged gulls waited for the return of fishermen. It was the beginning of March and freezing, and the air was full of the calls of gulls overhead. Focusing on one bird, Chloé composed a minimalist portrait, highlighting the eye and the beak. The red spot on the beak develops when gulls are adult and is a reflection of their health and an essential aid for the young: when chicks peck the spot, it triggers a regurgitation reaction from the parent. (Photo by Chloé Bès/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

15
Holding on by Igor Altuna, Spain. This leopardess had killed a monkey in Zambia’s South Luangwa national park. The monkey’s baby was still alive and clinging to its mother. Igor watched as the predator walked calmly back to her own cub, who played with the baby monkey for more than an hour before killing it, almost as if it has been given live prey as a hunting lesson. (Photo by Igor Altuna/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

16
Heads or tails? by Jodi Frediani, US. The unusually clear, flat sea in Monterey Bay, California, provided a beautiful turquoise backdrop for the glossy bodies of three northern right whale dolphins. A young woman gave up her place at the bow of the boat below which the dolphins were enjoying riding the bow wave and Jodi got her shot of two adult heads and the silvery tail of a juvenile. These dolphins are atypical in appearance, with short, pointy beaks, sloping foreheads and no dorsal fins. They are quick and athletic, often flying high out of the water in graceful leaps. (Photo by Jodi Frediani/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

17
Portrait of Olobor by Marina Cano, Spain. It was late afternoon when Marina found Olobor resting. He is one of the famous five-strong coalition of males in the Black Rock pride in Kenya’s Maasai Mara national reserve. All around the lion, the ground was black, having been burnt by local Maasai herdsmen to stimulate a flush of grass. Marina wanted to capture his majestic and defiant look against the dark background and lowered her camera out of her vehicle to get an eye-level portrait. (Photo by Marina Cano/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

18
Coastline wolf by Bertie Gregory, UK. While out in his dinghy looking for black bears, Bertie spotted this female grey wolf on the shoreline of the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, and looped around ahead of where he expected her to go. He set up his remote camera, before getting back in the dinghy and backing off. The wolf was patrolling her eel-grass-covered mudflat territory at low tide, and walked right past the camera, allowing Bertie to take this shot with the remote trigger. Sadly, this Vancouver Island wolf was later killed by a man who claimed to be protecting people’s pets. (Photo by Bertie Gregory/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

19
Snowshoe hare stare by Deena Sveinsson, US. Deena was snowshoeing in the forests of the Rocky Mountain national park, Colorado, hoping to find some winter wildlife to photograph. Frozen, she reluctantly headed for home. Then something caught her eye – a snowshoe hare resting on a small mound of snow. Moving stealthily into position, Deena waited. Finally, the hare sensed something, turned its ears forward, and looked right at the camera. (Photo by Deena Sveinsson/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

20
Fox affection by Brittany Crossman, Canada. On a chilly day in North Shore on Prince Edward Island, Canada, a pair of red foxes, greet one another with an intimate nuzzle. The red fox’s mating season is in winter, and it is not uncommon to see them together prior to denning. This moment is one of Brittany’s favourite images and one of the tenderest she has witnessed between adult foxes. (Photo by Brittany Crossman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

21
A tight grip by Nicholas More, UK. A male Bargibant’s seahorse grips tightly with his prehensile tail to a pink sea fan, looking almost ready to pop. He will gestate for a period of approximately two weeks before giving birth. Nicholas had the help of a guide who knew exactly where off the coast of Bali and on which sea fans to find Bargibant’s seahorses. This individual was one of three on the same sea fan. Bargibant’s seahorses are tiny (1cm–2cm tall) and tend to stay very still. Their ability to mimic their host’s colours and knobbly texture is only revealed under high magnification. (Photo by Nicholas More/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

22
World of the snow leopard by Sascha Fonseca, Germany. Against a backdrop of the mountains of Ladakh in northern India, a snow leopard is caught by Sascha’s carefully positioned camera trap. Thick snow blankets the ground, but the big cat’s dense coat and furry footpads keep it warm. Sascha captured this image during a three-year bait-free camera-trap project high up in the Indian Himalayas. He is fascinated by snow leopards, not only because of their incredible stealth but also because of their remote environment, making them one of the most difficult large cats to photograph in the wild. (Photo by Sascha Fonseca/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

23
A fox’s tale by Simon Withyman, UK. Simon wanted to raise awareness of the harm humans can inadvertently cause to wildlife with this image. In Bristol, England, a young red fox sustained a serious injury trying to free herself from plastic barrier netting used as fencing on building sites. The remains were still embedded in her body when this image was taken, hindering her ability to hunt. Local residents left out food for the vixen – here, a chicken leg. After five months, she was caught, treated and released. Tragically, six months later, she was hit by a car and died. (Photo by Simon Withyman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

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