The winners of the 2018 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were announced in London on October 16, with this year’s contest featuring several photographs of animals that are endangered or threatened by people.
Among the winning images is a pair of endangered golden snub-nosed monkeys native to China’s Qingling Mountains. Another shows crabeater seals on an ice floe in the Antarctic. The seals depend on sea ice and krill for survival, but sea ice in the region is expected to diminish as a result of climate change, and several countries are looking to develop krill fishing in the Southern Ocean.
Ian Owens, director of Science at the Natural History Museum and member of the judging panel hopes the winning images will “raise awareness for threatened species and ecosystems”.
Photographs from this year’s competition also highlight direct interactions between animals and people. In one image, a chained long-tailed macaque, trained to perform tricks for passers-by in Indonesia, is grimly forced to wear a clown mask. In another, a critically endangered Marsican brown bear can be seen crossing a road next to a village in Italy. The bears often raid bins and vegetable patches for food.
The 2018 winners were chosen from 45,000 entries from photographers across 95 countries, according to the museum. The competition was first held in 1965 and organised by BBC Wildlife Magazine (then called Animals). It was later developed by the Natural History Museum, which now runs the annual contest.
The exhibition will show at the National History Museum in London from October 19 to the summer of 2019.