The year’s best wildlife photos reveal a super-chill monkey, a rare Siberian tiger, and an ant clinging to a beetle’s leg

© Sergey Gorshkov, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020

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Sergey Gorshkov was determined to find a Siberian tiger. He knew it wouldn’t be easy. The species is known to live only in sections of Russia and China and was hunted almost to extinction in the 20th century. In the wild, only about 540 of the tigers remain, and they’re spread across vast territories.

So Gorshkov, a photographer based in Russia, roamed the country’s 1,000-plus-square-mile Land of the Leopard National Park, scouring the forest for any signs of tigers – hair, scratch marks, urine. 

In January 2019, he hung a camera across from a grand fir tree in an area he believed tigers had visited. Ten months later, his efforts paid off: The camera captured a tigress as she embraced an ancient Manchurian fir, rubbing her cheek against the bark to leave her scent behind.

Gorshkov’s photo won the 2020 Wildlife Photography of the Year competition, which is organized by the Natural History Museum in London. Now in its 56th year, the contest drew over 49,000 entries from photographers in 25 countries. 

In addition to awarding a first-place prize, the contest also selects winners in 17 categories, including best underwater photo and best animal portrait. Many of the winners across all categories depict animals’ struggles to survive in shrinking habitats and a warming world. 

Below are the 16 other contest winners.

SEE ALSO: The best wildlife photos taken this year reveal a pair of puffins, fighting foxes, and a perfectly camouflaged hippo

The youngest photographer to win an award, 10-year-old Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco, captured a stonechat balancing on a delicate stem.

Blanco said he often hears stonechat birds outside his home in Andalucia, Spain. So when he saw them flitting about in a nearby meadow, he asked his father if they could return in the family car.

Blanco knelt on the car’s backseat and pointed his camera out the open window, training his lens on a single male stonechat. Blanco’s shot of the bird’s balancing act won the contest’s 10-and-under age division.

Liina Heikkinen, who won the contest’s Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award, captured a fox cub stealing dinner from its siblings.

Heikkinen and her father spent a day in July watching a family of foxes on the island of Lehtisaari in Finland. At 7 p.m., the mom brought home a goose. Her cubs fought over it, sending feathers flying. A single cub emerged victorious. 

After urinating on its prize, the winning cub dragged the carcass into a crevice and started chomping. Its snarling expression was a warning to its siblings: Don’t you dare steal this goose back. 

Eleonora’s falcons are fierce predators, too. This one is bringing his mate the carcass of a smaller bird.

Alberto Fantoni photographed the birds on the edge of a cliff in Sardinia, along the Mediterranean coast. A migratory species, these falcons feed on insects and other migrant birds.

These great crested grebes work together to feed their chicks.

Great crested grebes hold their chicks nestled in their backs for two to three weeks after they’re born to keep them safe from predators. The …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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