Australia Zoo’s Robert Irwin has won the Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award with a drone image of a raging Cape York bushfire.
Mr Irwin, whose father Steve was a world-famous conservationist, said his hobby was “about telling a story to make a difference for the environment and our planet”.
“I feel it is particularly special for this image to be awarded, not only as a profound personal honour but also as a reminder of our effect on the natural world and our responsibility to care for it,” he said.
Director of London’s Natural History Museum, Dr Doug Gurr, said the image was “both stirring and symbolic”.
“Last year the world stood aghast at the devastating wildfires that struck much of Australia, and this photograph depicts just one example of a staggering biodiversity loss caused by the detrimental impacts of climate change, habitat loss and pollution,” he said.
“But it is by no means too late for us to act.
“I hope those who see this image are enthused to learn more about the problems our natural world faces but also to take action in their daily lives – be it changing dietary or travel habits or even joining a local wildlife volunteering group.”
Selected from a shortlist of 25 images, chosen by the Natural History Museum from over 49,000 images that were submitted for their annual competition, Mr Irwin’s, and four other photographs, stood out as favourites.
The five images will be displayed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London when the Museum reopens.
The exhibition will now be open until August 1, 2021.
The popular images include Ami Vitale’s heart-warming portrayal of a bond between ranger and rhino and the wonderfully composed wintry portrait from Andy Parkinson (both above); an innovative remote capture of two squirrels from Neil Anderson and a meeting between a worried looking Labrador in a car and an enormous moose, taken by Guillermo Esteves (below).
Here are the photos that earned a Highly Commended award from the judges last year:
An exhibition of the images judged in the 2020 competition opened in October last year at the Natural History Museum in London.