Every year, the British Ecological Society hosts a prestigious photography competition. It's a celebration of nature and the environment in which ecologists from all around the world participate. Here are the winners and some of our favorites.
The overall winner was an image of a Kumlien's gull's eye. The Kumlien gull, a subspecies of the migratory Iceland gull which breeds in the Arctic regions of Canada. The photo was taken by Rebecca Nason, who is based in Lerwick, on the island of Shetland, off the coast of Scotland.
"I started photographing the eye detail, noting a gorgeous granite coloured iris with dark speckled plumage detail around the eye," said Nason in a news release. "It was only when I got home I realised that the speckled patterns were in fact lice clustered around the eye, the Kumlien's gull hadn't travelled alone." Jane Memmott, president of the British Ecological Society, also applauded the entries in the competition, noting the very high quality of the entries.
The judging panel included six photographers. They selected winning images from six categories, as well as another eight commended images. The images don't just show photographic skill and beauty, but also serve an educational role.
Laura Dyer, a South African wildlife photographer who was also on the judging panel, hailed the focus on conservation efforts, as well as the very different style of photography of the entries.
Many of these species are currently under threat from human activity, either directly (through habitat destruction) or indirectly (through climate change). It is hoped that competitions like this one can aid conservation efforts and boost public awareness.
"Wildlife and nature photography is so vital today, as it helps to showcase parts of the natural world which would otherwise remain hidden from the view of most of us," Dyer said."And it is only by seeing the beauty of nature that we will be inspired to protect and conserve it."