The British Ecological Society 2019 Photo Contest Winners Revealed


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The beautiful harlequin frog, a species facing extinction, was photographed in Colombia by student contestant Khristian Valencia (Credit: Khristian Valencia/BES)

It is often said that "a picture is worth a thousand words." That is certainly true of the mesmerizing images of fleeting moments of nature submitted by international ecologists and students for the British Ecological Society's (BES) annual photography competition. Here are a few of 2019's winning entries, announced on November 28, 2019.

"Red Night" by Roberto García Roa

A Malagasy tree boa curled around a tree in Madagascar (Credit: Roberto Garcia Roa/ BES)

"Red Night," a photograph of the nonvenomous Malagasy tree boa clinging to a tree trunk, was declared this year's "Overall Winner." Taken by Roberto García Roa, the stunning image captures both the beauty of the magnificent reptile and its vulnerability to human threats like poaching and fires. Roa says, “During my visit to Madagascar, I had the pleasure of finding this outstanding snake and photographing it. To offer a dramatic scenario reflecting the conditions that these snakes are suffering, I used an external red light as a source of light and severe blurring to capture the environment.”

"Flames in Flumes" by Nilanjan Chatterjee

AnPasserine bird waiting to catch unsuspecting prey in the water (Credit: Nilanjan Chatterjee/BES)

Nilanjan Chatterjee's picture of a plumbeous water redstart, waiting to catch a waterborne insect near a small waterfall, won the judge's approval for the best overall student submission. Entitled "Flames in Flumes," it was the photographer's attempt to highlight the struggle the river birds, which capture their prey from fast-moving currents, are likely to face from the slowdown in water flow due to planned dams in rivers across India.

"Sleeping Still" by Felix Fornoff

Leafcutter mother bees protect their offspring in multiple leaf layers (Credit: Felix Fornoff/BES)

University of Freiburg's Felix Fornoff perfectly captured the intricate nests of the leafcutter bees with his aptly-titled photo, "Sleeping Still." The protective mothers carefully arrange the oval leaf cuttings in multiple buffering layers to shelter their offspring. The colored eyes indicate the babies are almost ready to emerge.

"The Rhino’s Annual Haircut" by Molly Penny

Ecologists in South Africa saw off a rhino's horn to make it less attractive to poachers (Credit: Molly Penny/BES)

The ongoing demand for rhino horns — for everything from traditional Chinese medicine to status symbols — has reduced the population of the magnificent animals to just 30,000 specimens globally. To try to save the vulnerable species, ecologists in South Africa, home to over 20,000 southern white rhinos, have resorted to sawing off a portion of the animals' horns, which regrow, annually. Drastic as it seems, "The Rhino's Annual Haircut," captured beautifully in the black-and-white photo by Molly Penny from the University of the West of England, reduces the risk of the animals being brutally murdered.

"For The Love Of Flamingos" by Peter Hudson

Flamingos flying in a perfect heart-shape in Kenya (Credit: Peter Hudson/BES)

Peter Hudson's for "The Love of Flamingos," which captures a heart-shaped cloud of pink flamingos in Kenya, is truly a sight like none other. The winner of the Art of Ecology prize says, "Flamingos are all legs and necks but at the same time graceful and fascinating and I admit I have a deep passion for them, so I was thrilled when, flying high over Lake Magadi, I watched this flock form themselves into a heart shape."

"A Side Of Fries" by Nigel Taylor

A long-tailed macaque seen with a box of McDonald's fries in Malaysia (Credit: Nigel Taylor/British Ecological Society)

"A Side of Fries" a heart-wrenching image of a long-tailed macaque at Batu Caves, Malaysia, holding a box of McDonald's fries — by Nigel Taylor is just one example of how careless human behavior is endangering animals in the wild.



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