Last chance to answer call of the wild

Press release - 03 March 2008

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition closes on 31 March 2008.

Abandon the hide, pack up the waterproofs and start selecting the year’s best shots; only weeks remain to enter the world’s greatest nature photography contest.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition 2008 is open to anyone with an appreciation of nature and a passion for fresh, innovative photography. Entrants stand to win an impressive £10,000 prize if they are awarded the coveted title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2008 or share of a £23,550 prize fund if successful in one of the categories. Winning photographers will also have their images showcased in an international exhibition which debuts at The Natural History Museum, London, featured in a special supplement to BBC Wildlife Magazine and in a hardback commemorative portfolio by BBC Books.

Last year’s competition was the most competitive ever and attracted more than 32,000 entries from 78 countries. Ben Osborne from the UK was named Shell Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2007 for his image of a large bull elephant kicking and spraying mud in a waterhole. Elephant creation was judged to be the best picture of 2007 for its originality and unusual portrayal of a very familiar subject.

Mark Carwardine, zoologist, award-winning writer and photographer and chairman of the competition judging panel has some advice for entrants, ‘It’s not what you photograph – it’s the way you do it. Successful photographers work hard at their photography. They get down low, climb high, move backwards, crawl forwards, creep from side to side, think laterally, get up early and stay out late. They are passionate people, determined to get something different.’

All images must be submitted by 24 March by post or 31 March online at 


Notes for editors

  • Mandatory credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.
  • The two overall winning titles, Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year, are selected from the category winners. 
  • The 11 adult entry categories are: Animals in Their Environment, Animal Behaviour: Birds, Animal Behaviour: Mammals, Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals, The Underwater World, Animal Portraits, In Praise of Plants, Urban and Garden Wildlife, Nature in Black and White, Creative Visions of Nature and Wild Places. 
  • The four special awards are the Eric Hosking Award, given for the best portfolio of six images taken by a photographer in the age range 18–26, the Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife, given for the best image of a species officially listed in the 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and the new One Earth Award, which seeks to highlight the interaction between humans and the natural world. NEW FOR 2008: Photographers’ Award for Lifetime Commitment to Wildlife Photography, given to a photographer whose commitment to wildlife photography is considered worthy of commendation. 
  • The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is open to photographers aged 17 years and under, in three age categories: 10 years and under, 11–14 years and 15–17 years.
Cartoon image of footprints disappearing through closing door

The Museum's smallest members of staff are our flesh-eating beetles, Dermestes maculates, who strip carcasses to the bone.