Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 winners announced
American photojournalist Tim Laman was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 for his image of a critically endangered Bornean orangutan.
His image, Entwined lives, shows the ape 30 metres above ground, searching for food in the Indonesian rainforest.
It claimed the title over almost 50,000 entries from 95 countries and will be on show at the Museum alongside 99 other shots, selected by an international panel of judges.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opens on 21 October, before touring the UK and internationally.
Views from the canopy
Tim took his winning image in Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesian Borneo.
He observed the animal's behaviour, then spent three days using ropes to climb the tree, setting up GoPro cameras that he could trigger remotely. This allowed him to capture the orangutan's face from above, with a wide-angle perspective of the forest below.
Wild orangutans face habitat loss from agriculture and logging. This, combined with increased poaching for illegal pet trade, poses huge challenges to the species.
Tim says, 'Protecting their remaining habitat is critical for orangutans to survive. If we want to preserve a great ape that retains both its vast, culturally transmitted knowledge of how to survive in the rainforest and the full richness of wild orangutan behaviour, then we need to protect orangutans in the wild now.'
Sir Michael Dixon, Director of the Museum, says, 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year highlights some of the big questions for society and the environment: how can we protect biodiversity? Can we learn to live in harmony with nature? The winning images touch our hearts and challenge us to think differently about the natural world.'
A fairy-tale image
Sixteen-year-old Gideon Knight won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year title for his image, The Moon and the crow.
Shot near his London home, it shows a crow in a sycamore tree silhouetted against a dusky sky and a full Moon.
Gideon says this 'makes it feel almost supernatural, like something out of a fairy tale'.
Lewis Blackwell, Chair of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year jury, says, ‘If an image could create a poem, it would be like this. It should certainly inspire a few lines.
'The image epitomises what the judges are always looking for - a fresh observation on our natural world, delivered with artistic flair.'
The two images were selected from 16 category winners, representing the best of nature photography, from displays of rarely seen animal behaviour to exotic landscapes.
See the winners
Book tickets to see all this year's shortlisted images at Wildlife Photographer of the Year, opening 21 October.