Sneak preview of nature’s best images: Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Press release - 01 October 2010

The 2010 global search for the very best images of nature has been completed.

Today, the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine reveal two of the images that will help make up this year’s most prestigious showcase of wildlife photography, Veolia Environnement Wildlife
Photographer of the Year

Oil beetle pose by Juan Jesus Gonzalez Ahumada is highly commended in the Animal Portraits
category. The black oil beetle is named after the toxic liquid it secretes if grabbed by a
predator. Close up, it reminded Juan of a beautiful alien.

Esa Malkonen’s image Back in, front out is highly commended in the Nature in Black and White
category and depicts the comings and goings of chinstrap penguins in a rookery in Antarctica.
Having paired up, a male and female will devise a rota so that one sits on the eggs for up to five
days at a time, while the other walks back to the sea to feed.

The competition, owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine has been
running since 1964 and is widely regarded as the most prestigious of its type. Each year an
exhibition of winning, runner-up and commended images makes its debut at the Natural History
Museum in London before touring Britain and venues around the world. More than one million
visitors are expected to have seen the exhibition once the tour is complete.

Chairman of the judging panel, Mark Carwardine said, ‘Now in its 46th year, the competition has
become the international measure for great wildlife photography. It plays a crucial role in raising
the profile of wildlife photography and stimulating an awareness of nature conservation as the
pictures are seen by millions of people around the world.’

The two preview images will be available for publication from Thursday 19 August to coincide
with the opening of ticket sales for the exhibition. Tickets to the exhibition will be available to buy
at the Museum or online at


Exhibition information for visitors:

  • Dates and times: 22 October 2010 – 11 March 2011, 10.00–17.50
  • Visitor enquiries: 020 7942 5000
  • Admission: adult, Gift Aid admission £9*
    concession, Gift Aid admission £4.50*
    family, Gift Aid admission £24* (up to two adults and three children)
    free for Members, Patrons and children under four
  • Nearest tube: South Kensington
  • Website:
    * If you are a UK taxpayer and pay the Gift Aid admission ticket price, the Natural History Museum can reclaim the tax on the whole ticket price you pay. For every £100 worth of tickets sold, we can claim an extra £28 from Government. This means you can further support the work of the Museum. The standard admission charges are adult £8, concession £4 and family £21. The right of entry is the same for visitors with or without the voluntary donation.


Notes for editors

  • BBC Wildlife Magazine helps its readers to get closer to nature and to understand, experience and
    enjoy wildlife – both close to home and abroad – through spectacular photography and fascinating
    features. Find out more at
  • The competition is sponsored by Veolia Environnement, a world leader in environmental services.
    With more than 300,000 employees worldwide, it provides tailored solutions to meet the needs of
    municipal, commercial and industrial customers to reduce their environmental impact in water, waste and energy management as well as freight and passenger transport. Please note, Veolia Environnement is the official company name with a French spelling. For more information, please visit
  • For further details about the competition, categories and rules, please visit
  • The Underwater World category is supported by Project AWARE Foundation (International) – a
    non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving underwater environments with direct support from divers and water enthusiasts worldwide,
  • The Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife is supported by Wildscreen’s ARKive initiative. ARKive is the world’s centralised digital library of films, photographs and fact-files of species threatened by extinction – freely accessible to all online and preserved for future generations – with more than 55,000 images and film clips donated by the best wildlife filmmakers and photographers in the business.
  • Biodiversity is life. Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year is part of the
    worldwide celebrations of 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity. The diversity of life on Earth is crucial for human well-being and now is the time to act to preserve it. For information on events, initiatives and exhibitions across the UK, please visit
  • The Natural History Museum has created a free outdoor touring exhibition called Wild Planet,
    featuring 80 of the most spectacular images from past Wildlife Photographer of the Year competitions. Wild Planet is a partnership between the Natural History Museum and local authorities. Wild Planet can be seen at The Moor in Sheffield from 6 Oct 2010 until 27 March 2011. For more information, please visit