WPY 2019

Photograph Details

Highly Commended 2019

Wildlife Photojournalism

Joris van Alphen, The Netherlands

The Logging Outbreak

Through a gaping hole in the canopy of Poland’s Białowieża Forest, piles of logs from commercial logging await transportation. Braving a media ban and the police, Joris captured this drone image showing evidence of large-scale commercial logging using heavy machinery in one of the forest’s protected areas.

Straddling Poland’s border with Belarus, the UNESCO-protected Białowieża Forest is the last surviving primeval forest in Europe and home to the largest population of European bison. But since 2016, commercial logging activity has escalated. Officially said to be aimed at clearing dead wood to control a bark beetle outbreak, it is putting this fragile and precious ecosystem at risk.

Technical specification

DJI Mavic Pro + 26mm f2.2 lens; 1/30 sec; ISO 100


Białowieża Forest, Poland: latitude 52.768436, longitude 23.763842 Białowieża Forest, Poland: latitude 52.768436, longitude 23.763842

Białowieża Forest, Poland

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Joris van Alphen

Joris van Alphen, The Netherlands

Joris specialises in stories about nature and people. Growing up with biologists as parents, he went on his first field expedition to Africa at the age of three. He later studied biology, but left his science career to become a full-time photographer and film-maker. His work has since spanned five continents. He is a Fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers.

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