National Geographic has just announced the results of the prestigious 2016 Nature Photographer of the Year contest. As you can see from the pictures below, the judges had a hard time choosing the very best image but the first place along with a 10-day trip for two to the Galapagos Islands, two 15-minute image portfolio reviews with organisation's photo editors and a $2,500 cash prize went to Greg Lecoeur for a superb shot of predators hunting sardines underwater.


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The competition attracted thousands of entries from photographers all over the world. Esteemed judges included National Geographic's senior photo editor Kathy Moran as well as magazine's photographers Joe Riis and Jim Brandenburg. They rated images in four categories - action, landscapes, animal portraits, and environmental issues.

More info: nationalgeographic.com

#1 Honorable Mention, Environmental Issues: No Snow, No Ice? Barter Islands

Honorable Mention, Environmental Issues: No Snow, No Ice? Barter Islands

A solitary bear sits on the edge of one of the Barter Islands. There is no snow, when at this time of year, there should be. In speaking with the locals in Kaktovic, they've noted that it's been an unseasonably warm winter, and that the ice will be late in forming this year. This will have an impact on the local polar bear population, when it comes time to hunt... Read More

A solitary bear sits on the edge of one of the Barter Islands. There is no snow, when at this time of year, there should be. In speaking with the locals in Kaktovic, they've noted that it's been an unseasonably warm winter, and that the ice will be late in forming this year. This will have an impact on the local polar bear population, when it comes time to hunt seals for their food in the winter months...

Patty Waymire Report

Jasmine Chen 7 months ago

prayers before lunch

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#2 Third Place Winner, Landscape: Pacific Storm, Pacific Ocean

Third Place Winner, Landscape: Pacific Storm, Pacific Ocean

A colossal Cumulonimbus flashes over the Pacific Ocean as we circle around it at 37000 feet en route to South America.

Santiago Borja Report

Lorraine 7 months ago

So breathtaking...

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#3 Honorable Mention, Landscape: Serendipitous Green Meteor, India

Honorable Mention, Landscape: Serendipitous Green Meteor, India

This Green Meteor was captured while taking a time-lapse to document the urbanization around the Skyislands in India. The camera was set at 15s exposure for 999 shots and this came into one of those shots. Green Meteor’s greenish color come from a combination of the heating of oxygen around the meteor and the mix of minerals ignited as the rock enters Earth's atmosphere. I think for those 15 seconds,... Read More

This Green Meteor was captured while taking a time-lapse to document the urbanization around the Skyislands in India. The camera was set at 15s exposure for 999 shots and this came into one of those shots. Green Meteor’s greenish color come from a combination of the heating of oxygen around the meteor and the mix of minerals ignited as the rock enters Earth's atmosphere. I think for those 15 seconds, I was the luckiest photographer on the planet to have capture this phenomenon.

Prasenjeet Yadav Report

Jasmine Chen 7 months ago

What?? HE ONLY GOT A HONORABLE MENTION? for capturing a GREEN METEOR?

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#4 First Place Winner, Landscape: Struggle Of Life, Netherlands

First Place Winner, Landscape: Struggle Of Life, Netherlands

To restore original natural dynamics in streams many measures are necessary. In the 'Leuvenumse beek' a nature organisation tried to increase heterogeneity of the river bottom and water retention by putting dead wood in the streamsystem. In autumn when rainfall is high, pieces of forest get flooded. Once i saw this little beech in the water, trying to survive under these harsh conditions. I returned sometimes to this place to... Read More

To restore original natural dynamics in streams many measures are necessary. In the 'Leuvenumse beek' a nature organisation tried to increase heterogeneity of the river bottom and water retention by putting dead wood in the streamsystem. In autumn when rainfall is high, pieces of forest get flooded. Once i saw this little beech in the water, trying to survive under these harsh conditions. I returned sometimes to this place to take pictures. One evening all the conditions were satisfactory.

Jacob Kaptein Report

Hilda Moritz 7 months ago

Breath taken

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#5 Honorable Mention, Animal Portraits: Puffin Studio, United Kingdom

Honorable Mention, Animal Portraits: Puffin Studio, United Kingdom

This image was taken last summer on Skomer Island, Wales. It is well known for its wildlife, the puffin colony is one of the largest in U.K.The photo shows a detail or study of an Atlantic puffin resting peacefully under the rain. As Skomer is inhabited, puffins do not feel afraid of humans, and so people can be close to puffins and the photographer can think about the right composition... Read More

This image was taken last summer on Skomer Island, Wales. It is well known for its wildlife, the puffin colony is one of the largest in U.K.The photo shows a detail or study of an Atlantic puffin resting peacefully under the rain. As Skomer is inhabited, puffins do not feel afraid of humans, and so people can be close to puffins and the photographer can think about the right composition and take this kind of intimate portraits. Also that morning the conditions came together: rain and light.

Mario Suarez Porras Report

Punkit Gupta 7 months ago

like a Guardian..

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#6 Grand Prize Winner: Sardine Run, South Africa

Grand Prize Winner: Sardine Run, South Africa

I captured this image during the migration of the sardines along the wild coast of South Africa. Natural predation, sardines are preyed upon by cape gannet birds and common dolphins. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques. With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from 30 to 40 meters high, piercing the surface of the water head first... Read More

I captured this image during the migration of the sardines along the wild coast of South Africa. Natural predation, sardines are preyed upon by cape gannet birds and common dolphins. The hunt begins with common dolphins that have developed special hunting techniques. With remarkable eyesight, the gannets follow the dolphins before diving in a free fall from 30 to 40 meters high, piercing the surface of the water head first at a speed of 80km/h to get their fill of sardines.

G. Lecoeur Report

Lorraine 7 months ago

Wow! Beautiful!!

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#7 First Place Winner, Animal Portraits: Dragging You Deep Into The Woods!

First Place Winner, Animal Portraits: Dragging You Deep Into The Woods!

A morning stroll into the blissful forest ! Ceaseless drizzles dampening the woods for 12 hours a day; The serene gloom which kept me guessing if it was a night or a day. Heavy fog, chilling breeze and the perennial silence could calm roaring sprits; And there I spotted this 20cm beauty the Green vine snake ! I wondered if i needed more reasons to capture this with the habitat;... Read More

A morning stroll into the blissful forest ! Ceaseless drizzles dampening the woods for 12 hours a day; The serene gloom which kept me guessing if it was a night or a day. Heavy fog, chilling breeze and the perennial silence could calm roaring sprits; And there I spotted this 20cm beauty the Green vine snake ! I wondered if i needed more reasons to capture this with the habitat; For I was blessed to see this at the place I was at. I immediately switched from the macro to the wide angle lens.

varun aditya Report

htbq 7 months ago

took the photo and made a dash for it.

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#8 Second Place Winner, Action: Approach, Wray, Colorado

Second Place Winner, Action: Approach, Wray, Colorado

An EF2 tornado bears down on a home in Wray, Colorado- May 7, 2016. As soon as we were safe, as the tornado roared off into the distance through a field before roping out, we scrambled up the hill to check on the residents.Thankfully, everyone was alright, and we were grateful for that. As I was checking in with a young woman coming out of the basement, we became very... Read More

An EF2 tornado bears down on a home in Wray, Colorado- May 7, 2016. As soon as we were safe, as the tornado roared off into the distance through a field before roping out, we scrambled up the hill to check on the residents.Thankfully, everyone was alright, and we were grateful for that. As I was checking in with a young woman coming out of the basement, we became very aware of a strong new circulation - right above our heads. We needed to run for cover, and did so before saying a proper goodbye.

Tori Shea-Ostberg Report

Punkit Gupta 7 months ago

Thor!!! Why you do THAT!!!

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#9 Third Place Winner, Action: Changing Fortunes Of The Great Egret, Hungary

Third Place Winner, Action: Changing Fortunes Of The Great Egret, Hungary

A remarkable conservation success story, the graceful Great Egret was saved from the brink of disappearance in Hungary, when in 1921 there were only 31 mating pairs remaining. Less than a century later, international conservation efforts have triumphed. We can now count over 3,000 mating pairs in Hungary alone.

Zsolt Kudich Report

Alusair Alustriel 7 months ago

This brings ballet dancers to my mind :)

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#10 Honorable Mention, Action: Jellyfish Feast, New South Wales, Australia

Honorable Mention, Action: Jellyfish Feast, New South Wales, Australia

Green turtles devour the soft tentacles of a jellyfish which are a common food source for many turtles.

Scott Portelli Report

Melody Lanzatella 7 months ago

It is also the reason that when people litter, and their plastic grocery bags are in the water, the poor turtles mistake them for jellyfish and choke on them!!! DONT LITTER!!!

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#11 Third Place Winner, Animal Portraits: Friendship Knows No Color, Spain

Third Place Winner, Animal Portraits: Friendship Knows No Color, Spain

'Friendship knows no color, nationality, race and social level, friendship knows no age and gender, friendship knows no distance' -quoted by Luis A Ribeiro Branco-. This way must be. And this images perfectly could represent that message. Two Empusa Pennata which seem to play a game on the thin plant. Wildlife image and absolutely uncommon to see a couple of this species together.

JOSE PESQUERO GOMEZ Report

Sandie Ritchie 7 months ago

WONDERFUL METAPHOR

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#12 Honorable Mention, Animal Portraits: Crow Chasing Puffy Owl

Honorable Mention, Animal Portraits: Crow Chasing Puffy Owl

The Crow saw the Puffy Owl resting and decided to chase away the Owl from its territory.

CHIA BOON OO LAWRENCE Report

Lai Xone 7 months ago

lol the expression of the owl is like "shit shit shit~~~~~~!"

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#13 First Place Winner, Environmental Issues: Life And Death, Svalbard And Jan Mayen

First Place Winner, Environmental Issues: Life And Death, Svalbard And Jan Mayen

These polar bear remains have been discovered at one of the islands of Northern Svalbard. Unfortunately we do not know definitely whether the bear died from starving or aging, but more likely if we see the good teeth status - from starving . They say nowadays such remains to be founded very often - global warming and ice situation influence the polar bear population a lot.

Vadim Balakin Report

Kim Vanguardia 7 months ago

shit this is depressing

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#14 Second Place Winner, Landscape: Wild Rink, Italy

Second Place Winner, Landscape: Wild Rink, Italy

The first cold days of winter have frozen the surface of a pond. The first snowfall has revealed its delicate beauty. A long shutter speed enhances the movement of the clouds around Mt. Cimon de la Pala, Paneveggio-Pale San Martino Natural Park, Italy.

Alessandro Gruzza Report

Jonathan Parkin 7 months ago

If that ice is thick enough... it may be skate-able. Looks like an interesting course!

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#15 Second Place Winner, Animal Portraits: Proud Momma, Florida

Second Place Winner, Animal Portraits: Proud Momma, Florida

Fry of a Peacock Bass hover around their mom for protection against predators. Peacock Bass, part of the Cichlid family, exercise excellent parental car and will protect their young against any threat that approaches them. This tropical species from South America was intentionally introduced in South Florida during the 1980s to control the African Tilapia, another invasive species.

Michael O'Neill Report