A rare photo of a Tibetan fox about to attack a marmot has earned Chinese photographer Yongqing Bao the prestigious award of Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
After stalking the creatures for some time in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Bao captured the stunning life-or-death image he called The Moment that won him the top prize.
Judging panel chair Roz Kidman Cox described the photograph as “quite simply the perfect moment”.
“The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance,” Ms Cox said.
Bao, from the Chinese province of Qinghai, beat more than 48,000 entries from 100 countries to take the top prize.
Budding New Zealand photographer Cruz Erdmann, 14, took home the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year with Night Glow, his photo of a big fin reef squid captured during a dive in the Lembeh Strait near Indonesia.
Judging panel member Theo Bosboom said “to dive in the pitch dark, find this beautiful squid and to be able to photograph it so elegantly, to reveal its wonderful shapes and colours, takes so much skill”.
Other winners included Dutchman Jasper Doest, who won the Wildlife Photojournalist Story Award with his image, Show Time.
Other award-winning photos include a portrait of a spider trying to camouflage as an ant, a puma launching an attack, and an eagle in flight.