The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 winners have been announced and they are breathtaking.
Marsel van Oosten scooped the grand prize of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner with the spectacular image ‘The golden couple‘. The awards were held at London’s Natural History Museum and were hosted by Liz Bonnin.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018 Winner; The golden couple by Marsel van Oosten, The Netherlands, Grand Title Winner 2018, Animal Portraits.
Photograph: Marsel van Oosten/2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Lounging leopard by Skye Meaker, South Africa – grand title winner, 15-17 years
‘Old Mathoja was dozing when they finally found her, lying along a low branch of a nyala tree in Botswana’s Mashatu Game Reserve. Mathoja means ‘the one that walks with a limp’ injured when she was a cub, but otherwise she is a healthy, calm eight-year-old. The morning light was poor, leaves kept blowing across her face, and her eyes were only ever open briefly, making it hard for Skye to compose the shot he was after. Finally, a shaft of light gave a glint to her eyes, helping him to create his memorable portrait.’
Photograph: Skye Meaker/2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Hellbent by David Herasimtschuk, US – winner, Behaviour: amphibians and reptiles
‘It was not looking good for the northern water snake, clamped tightly in the jaws of a hungry hellbender, but it was a remarkable find for David. Drifting downstream in Tennessee’s Tellico River, in search of freshwater life (as he had done for countless hours over the past seven years), he was thrilled to spot the mighty amphibian with its struggling prey. The hellbender has declined significantly because of habitat loss and degradation and its presence indicates a healthy freshwater ecosystem.’
Photograph: David Herasimtschuk/2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Mud-rolling mud-dauber by Georgina Steytler, Australia – winner, Behaviour: invertebrates
‘It was a hot summer day, and the waterhole at Walyormouring Nature Reserve, Western Australia, was buzzing. Georgina had got there early to photograph birds, but her attention was stolen by the industrious mud-dauber wasps. They were females, digging in the soft mud at the water’s edge, then rolling the mud into balls to create egg chambers for their nearby nests. A female builds her external nest completely out of mud, cylindrical chamber by chamber, which cement together as the mud hardens.’
Photograph: Georgina Steytler/2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Night flight by Michael Patrick O’Neill, US – winner, Underwater
‘On a night dive over deep water in the Atlantic, far off Florida’s Palm Beach, Michael achieved a long-held goal, to photograph a flying fish so as to convey the speed, motion and beauty of this ‘fantastic creature’. By day, these fish are almost impossible to approach. Living at the surface, they are potential prey for a great many animals, including tuna, marlin and mackerel. At night, they are more approachable, moving slowly as they feed on planktonic animals close to the surface.’
Photograph: Michael Patrick O’Neill/2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Kuhirwa mourns her baby by Ricardo Núñez Montero, Spain – winner, Behaviour: mammals
‘Kuhirwa, a young female of the Nkuringo mountain gorilla family in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, would not give up on her dead baby. What Ricardo first thought to be a bundle of roots turned out to be the tiny corpse. Guides told him that she had given birth during bad weather and the baby probably died of cold. At first Kuhirwa had cuddled and groomed the body, carrying it piggyback. Weeks later, she started to eat what was left of the corpse, behaviour the guide had only seen once before.’
Photograph: Ricardo Núñez Montero/2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Captions (c) Wildlife Photographer of the Year / The Guardian