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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2005 winners announced

20 October 2005

The winners of this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have been announced at a special viewing at the Natural History Museum, London.

Manuel Presti of Italy was awarded Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2005 for his image Sky chase and Jesse Ritonen, 10, of Finland was named Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2005 for his image Inquisitive jay

The winning image of a swirling flock of starlings evading a peregrine falcon was among nearly 17,000 entries from over 55 countries. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is the world's largest and most prestigious wildlife photographic competition, jointly organised each year by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

Grey heron mouthful © Bence Máté (Hungary)

Grey heron mouthful © Bence Máté (Hungary)

'Sky chase is a powerful image and, like it or not, it's one that you will never forget.' said judge Mark Carwardine. 'I particularly like its graphic simplicity and the starkness of black against white. But it works on another level too, because it is full of energy and movement and captures an absolutely perfect wildlife moment.'

Sky chase and Inquisitive jay will join the category winners and others in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which displays all 84 winning and commended images from the 2005 competition.

The award-winning images for 2005 are:

  • Eric Hosking Award - Bence Máté of Hungary with a portfolio of six images
  • Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife - Martin Eisenhawer of Switzerland with Crane snowflight
  • Innovation Award - Michel Loup of France with River of dreams
  • Animals in Their Environment - Martin Eisenhawer of Switzerland with Whooper swans at dawn
  • Animal Behaviour: Birds - Manuel Presti of Italy for Sky chase
  • Animal Behaviour: Mammals - Kristin Mosher of the USA with Termite catching
  • Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals - Ruben Smit of the Netherlands with Common toad orgy
  • The Underwater World - George Duffield of the UK with Leopard seal pass
  • Animal Portraits - Alexander Mustard of the UK with Snapper shoal
  • In Praise of Plants - László Novák of Hungary with Spring snowflakes in the flooded forest
  • Urban and Garden Wildlife - Julian Smith of Australia with Bogong swarm
  • Nature in Black and White - Martyn Colbeck of the UK with Elephants below Kilimanjaro
  • Composition and Form - Michel Loup of France with River of dreams
  • The World in Our Hands - Allessandro Bee of Italy with Behind bars
  • Wild Places - Staffan Widstrand of Sweden with Ice rainbow
  • 15-17 years old - Matthew Burrard-Lucas with Chimpanzee meditation
  • 11-14 years old - Mart Smit of the Netherlands with Red squirrel pose
  • 10 years and under - Jesse Ritonen of Finland for Inquisitive jay

The exhibition opens to visitors at the Natural History Museum on Saturday 22 October 2005 and runs until 23 April 2006. It will then tour across the country and five continents after its London debut.