Top Wildlife Shots 2016 Winning Images from the Photographer of the Year Contest

The winners of the 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition had been announced. Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.

“Entwined lives” by American photographer Tim Laman is grand title winner and took the top prize in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 competition held by Britain’s Natural History Museum.

Also check out: 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Contest Finalists


Gideon Knight, UK Winner A crow in a tree in a park: a common enough scene. It was one that Gideon had seen many times near his home in London’s Valentines Park. But as the blue light of dusk crept in and the full moon rose, the scene transformed.
Photograph: Gideon Knight/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year


The pangolin pit,


Paul Hilton, UK/Australia Winner, wildlife photojournalist award: Single image category Nothing prepared Hilton for the sight of 4,000 defrosting pangolins (five tonnes) from one of the largest seizures of the animals on record. They were destined for China and Vietnam for the exotic meat trade or for traditional medicine. Pangolins have become the world’s most trafficked animals, with all eight species targeted.
Photograph: Paul Hilton/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year


Eviction attempt, Ganesh H Shankar, India Winner, birds category


These Indian rose-ringed parakeets returned to their roosting and nesting hole high up in a tree in India’s Keoladeo national park, only to find that a Bengal monitor lizard had taken up residence. The birds immediately set about trying to evict the squatter. They bit the monitor lizard’s tail, hanging on for a couple of seconds at a time, until it retreated into the hole. They would then harass it when it tried to come out to bask. This went on for two days.
Photograph: Ganesh H. Shankar/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The alley cat, Nayan Khanolkar, India


Winner, urban categoryAt night, in a suburb of Mumbai bordering Sanjay Gandhi national park, leopards slip through the maze of alleys, looking for food. Despite close encounters and occasional attacks, the cats are an accepted part of the Warli people’s lives and culture. Nayan was determined to use his pictures to show how things can be different with tolerance and planning. Positioning his flashes to mimic the alley’s lighting and his camera so that a passing cat would not dominate the frame, he finally – after four months – got the shot he wanted.
Photograph: Nayan Khanolkar/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Star player


Luis Javier Sandoval, Mexico Winner, impressions categoryCurious young sea lions in the Gulf of California. One of the pups dived down, swimming gracefully with its strong fore-flippers, grabbed a starfish and started throwing it to Sandoval. As the pup was playing very close to the breaking point of the waves, Sandoval’s timing had to be spot-on. Angling his camera up towards the dawn light – just as the pup offered him the starfish and another youngster slipped by close to the rocks – he created his artistic impression of the sea lion’s playful nature.
Photograph: Luis Javier Sandoval/2016 Wildlife

Wind composition


Valter Binotto, Italy Winner, plants and fungi categoryThis hazel tree is near Binotto’s home in northern Italy, and to create the dark background, he positioned himself to backlight the flowers. Hazel has both male and female flowers. ‘The hardest part was capturing the female flowers motionless while the catkins were moving,’ he explains. ‘I searched for flowers on a short branch that was more stable.’ Using a long exposure to capture the pollen’s flight and a reflector to highlight the catkins, he took many pictures before the wind finally delivered the right composition.
Photograph: Valter Binotto/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The sand canvas Winner – Detail category


Rudi Sebastian, Germany.  The pristine white sand of Brazil’s Lençóis Maranhenses National Park offers a blank canvas to the rain.

Requiem for an owl


Mats Andersson, Sweden Winner, black and white categoryEvery day in early spring, Andersson walked in the forest near his home in Bashult, southern Sweden, enjoying the company of a pair of Eurasian pygmy owls – until the night he found one of them lying dead on the forest floor. ‘The owl’s resting posture reflected my sadness for its lost companion,’ he said. Preferring to work in black and white – ‘it conveys the feeling better’ – he captured the melancholy of the moment, framing the solitary owl within the bare branches, lit by the first light of dawn.


Snapper party, Tony Wu, US Winner, underwater category


For several days each month, thousands of two spot red snappers gather to spawn around Palau in the western Pacific Ocean. The action is intense as the fish fill the water with sperm and eggs, and predators arrive to take advantage of the bounty. Noticing that the spawning ran ‘like a chain reaction up and down the mass of fish’, Wu positioned himself so that the action came to him. On this occasion, with perfect anticipation, he managed to capture a dynamic arc of spawning fish amid clouds of eggs in the oblique morning light.
Photograph: Tony Wu/2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year