Nursery meltdown

Jennifer Hayes's Image

Following a storm, it took hours of searching by helicopter to find this fractured sea ice used as a birthing platform by harp seals. ‘It was a pulse of life that took your breath away,’ says Jennifer.

Every autumn, harp seals migrate south from the Arctic to their breeding grounds, delaying births until the sea ice forms. Seals depend on the ice, which means that future population numbers are likely to be affected by climate change.

Behind the lens

Jennifer Hayes

Jennifer is an aquatic biologist and photojournalist specialising in natural history and ocean environments, with graduate degrees in zoology and marine biology. An award-winning essayist, photographer, speaker and author of publications and books, she combines science and nature into impactful storytelling. She is also the recipient of a Presidential Award for Environmental Education (USA).

Image details

  • Nikon D4
  • 24–120mm f4 lens
  • 1/640 sec at f9  •   ISO 200
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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