© Sergey Gorshkov, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020, Grand Title Winner

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A welcome embrace: Rare glimpse of Siberian tigress wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020

Selected from over 49,000 entries from around the world, the winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition were revealed during an online awards ceremony live-streamed from the Natural History Museum, London on 13 October.

Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the Museum, announced Sergey Gorshkov as this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year for his magnificent image, The Embrace, of an Amur tigress hugging an ancient Manchurian fir in the Russian Far East. Amur, or Siberian, tigers are only found in this region and it took more than 11 months for the Russian photographer to capture this moment with hidden cameras.

Chair of the judging panel, renowned writer and editor, Rosamund ‘Roz’ Kidman Cox says, ‘It’s a scene like no other. A unique glimpse of an intimate moment deep in a magical forest. Shafts of low winter sun highlight the ancient fir tree and the coat of the huge tigress as she grips the trunk in obvious ecstasy and inhales the scent of tiger on resin, leaving her own mark as her message. It’s also a story told in glorious colour and texture of the comeback of the Amur tiger, a symbol of the Russian wilderness.’

Dr Tim Littlewood, Natural History Museum’s Executive Director of Science and jury member, says ‘Hunted to the verge of extinction in the past century, the Amur population is still threatened by poaching and logging today. The remarkable sight of the tigress immersed in her natural environment offers us hope, as recent reports suggest numbers are growing from dedicated conservation efforts. Through the unique emotive power of photography, we are reminded of the beauty of the natural world and our shared responsibility to protect it.' 

Liina WPY

© Liina Heikkinen, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020, Young Grand Title Winner

Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020

Liina Heikkinen was awarded the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 for her dramatic image, The fox that got the goose. With feathers flying, the young fox is framed as it refuses to share the barnacle goose with its five sibling rivals. Liina is the youngest of a family of wildlife photographers and has spent much of her childhood immersed in nature in her homeland of Finland.

‘A sense of furtive drama and frantic urgency enlivens this image, drawing us into the frame. The sharp focus on the fox’s face leads us straight to where the action is. A great natural history moment captured perfectly,’ says Shekar Dattatri, wildlife filmmaker and jury member. 

Global platform

The two Grand Title winners were selected from 100 images spotlighting the world's richest habitats, fascinating animal behaviours and extraordinary species. In a rigorous process, images from professional and amateur photographers are judged anonymously by a panel of experts for their innovation, narrative and technical ability.

The brand-new images will be showcased in exquisite lightbox displays at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, opening on 16 October 2020, before touring across the UK and internationally to venues in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Germany, and more. Limited visitor numbers and the Museum’s safety measures will ensure visitors enjoy a safe and welcoming experience, contemplating the images in a crowd-free gallery. 

Open to photographers of all ages, nationalities and abilities, the next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries on Monday 19 October 2020. Important new categories focussing on people’s impact on the planet, and the new jury have just been announced.

Associate sponsors for the upcoming exhibition at the Natural History Museum are renewable energy company Ørsted and camera manufacturer, Leica.


Exhibition at Natural History Museum, London

It's essential that all visitors book a ticket in advance. Weekends sell out quickly.

Opens Friday 16 October 2020 and closes Sunday 6 June 2021.

From 16 October 2020, the Natural History Museum will return to regular opening hours, Monday-Sunday, 10.00-17.50 (last admission 17.15).

Book your tickets: www.nhm.ac.uk/visit/exhibitions/wildlife-photographer-of-the-year.html

Prices from: Adult £14.95, child £ 8.95, concession £11.95. Free for Members, patrons and children under four (including Gift Aid prices are Adult £16.50, chile £9.95, concession £13.25).


Fifty-seventh Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition

Opens for entries on Monday 19 October 2020.

Closing for entries at 11.30am GMT on Thursday 10 December 2020.

Entrants to the adult competition may enter up to 25 images for a £30 fee, which increases to £35 in the final week of the entry period from 11.30am GMT 3 December to 11.30am GMT 10 December.

Entrants aged 17 and under may enter up to 10 images for free.

Find out how to enter: www.nhm.ac.uk/wpy/competition

South Kensington exhibition sponsors

About Ørsted               

Orsted logo


The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, and bioenergy plants, and provides energy products to its customers. Globally, Ørsted is the market leader in offshore wind and it is constructing the world’s biggest offshore wind farms off the East Coast of the UK. Its UK offshore wind farms generate enough clean electricity for over three million UK homes. Ørsted ranks #1 in Corporate Knights' 2020 index of the Global 100 most sustainable corporations in the world and is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action. Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs 6,700 people, including over 1000 in the UK. Ørsted's shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2019, the group's revenue was DKK 67.8 billion (EUR 9.1 billion). https://orsted.co.uk/en/About-us                      

About Leica

Leica logo


Leica stands for craftsmanship, design and experience. With over 100 years of history, the brand represents a beautiful combination of art and engineering with the future of form and functionality. Based in Wetzlar, the original birthplace of Leica, the German company is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras

and sport optics products. Leica’s legendary status is founded on its long tradition of excellence and supreme quality found in their cameras and lenses. Leica are committed to supporting the creation and preservation of iconic photography, past, present and future and the artists behind them. https://uk.leica-camera.com/ 

Media contact

For access to high-resolution images or to arrange interviews with photographers, jury members or Museum spokespeople, please contact Josephine Higgins or Alex Killeen at the Natural History Museum Press Office.

Tel: +44 (0)20 7942 5106

Mobile: +44 (0) 7799 690151

Email: wildpress@nhm.ac.uk

About Wildlife Photographer of the Year:

Wildlife Photographer of the Year was founded in 1965 by BBC Wildlife Magazine, then called Animals. The Natural History Museum joined forces in 1984 to create the competition as it is known today. The competition is now run and owned by the Natural History Museum.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio 30, edited by Rosamund Kidman-Cox and with a foreword by Chris Packham, is published by the Natural History Museum and will be on sale as of 14 October 2020, priced £25.

Touring venues in the UK include Sewerby Hall and Gardens, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, M Shed Bristol, The Beacon Museum, Epping Forest Museum, The Base, Greenham, Leicester Museum and Art Gallery and The Collection: Art and Archaeology in Lincolnshire. 

About the Natural History Museum:

The Natural History Museum is both a world-leading science research centre and the most-visited natural history museum in Europe. With a vision of a future in which both people and the planet thrive, it is uniquely positioned to be a powerful champion for balancing humanity’s needs with those of the natural world.

It is custodian of one of the world’s most important scientific collections comprising over 80 million specimens. The scale of this collection enables researchers from all over the world to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes - which is vital in helping predict what might happen in the future and informing future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Museum’s 300 scientists continue to represent one of the largest groups in the world studying and enabling research into every aspect of the natural world. Their science is contributing critical data to help the global fight to save the future of the planet from the major threats of climate change and biodiversity loss through to finding solutions such as the sustainable extraction of natural resources.

The Museum uses its enormous global reach and influence to meet its mission to create advocates for the planet - to inform, inspire and empower everyone to make a difference for nature. We welcome over five million visitors each year; our digital output reaches hundreds of thousands of people in over 200 countries each month and our touring exhibitions have been seen by around 30 million people in the last 10 years.