fe on Earth has once again been showcased in all its glory thanks to the BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition. Each year the event, which is run by the California Academy of Sciences, attracts top nature and wildlife photographers, who submit their best work for consideration. As ever, the level of competition is high and, this year, the grand prize went to a photo of a brave animal facing a harsh winter storm.
British photographer Andy Parkinson, who is a featured contributor at National Geographic, took the top prize for his stunning photo of a mountain hare. Captured in the midst of a snowstorm in Scotland, the rabbit nearly blends into the environment. These hares are used to harsh conditions, but as Britain’s only native rabbit species they are unfortunately seeing their populations decline due to hunting and habitat loss. Parkinson’s vision of this robust animal is highlighted through his artistic portrait of the hare curled up as the storm blazes around it. The snow packed onto its fur tells the story of just how tenacious these mammals need to be in order to survive such cold temperatures.
The rest of the finalists and winners also show incredible skill. In the mix are familiar names like Greg Lecoeur, whose underwater photography has garnered him yet another award as the winner of the Aquatic Life category. His image of crabeater seals swimming around an iceberg gives a look at like in the Arctic. In fact, throughout the different categories, we’re able to see how wildlife unfolds around the world, moving from northern Kenya and one group’s quest to rehabilitate giraffes to western Spain, where a once fruitful river is now cracked and dried due to mining.
These images originally appeared on bioGraphic, an online magazine about science and sustainability and the official media sponsor for the California Academy of Sciences’ BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition.
The winners and finalists of the BigPicture Natural World Photography Competition highlight wildlife around the world.