The winners of the Nature Conservancy photography contest were recently announced. The competition regularly strives to highlight the beauty, struggles, and importance of our natural world through striking images.
This year, the contest received entries from 196 countries across six categories, including Climate, Landscape, People and Nature, Plants and Fungi, Water, and Wildlife. The Grand Prize went to a stunning photo of a highway in Tibet, framed on each side by gullies that extend outward in the shape of a tree. Other special photos include a leopard carrying a dead monkey while its baby clings to its body and a spectacular shot of “Thor's Well”.
Scroll down and enjoy this year’s incredible winning images from the Nature Conservancy contest.
Related: Winners of the 2021 Nature Conservancy Photo Contest
1. “Untitled” by Li Ping (China). Grand Prize Winner.
Gullies formed by rainwater erosion branch out like a tree on either side of this lonely highway in Tibet.
2. “An Unforgiving kingdom” by Shafeeq Mulla (Zambia). Guest Judge Ami Vitale’s Choice.
A leopard carries the carcass of a female vervet monkey even as its baby still hangs on for dear life.
3. “Breastfeeding in town” by Florian Ledoux (Norway). Celebrity Judge Coyote Peterson’s Choice.
A female polar bear breastfeeds her two cubs in the harbor of the abandoned Russian settlement, Pyramiden.
4. “Lizards and Windmills” by Sandesh Kadur (India). First Place, Climate.
A Fan-throated Lizard (Sarada superba) stands guard over his territory in the Chalkewadi plateau in the Satara district in Maharashtra, India. The region is also home to one of the largest wind farms.
5. “Braided River” by Kristin Wright (USA). First Place, Water.
This aerial shot captures brightly colored sediments tracing the glacial river Þjórsá's path towards the ocean. It is the longest river in Iceland, originating at Hofsjökull glacier and winding 230km (143 miles) to the Atlantic Ocean.
6. “Giant in dust” by Panos Laskarakis (Greece). Second Place, Wildlife.
An African elephant is covered in dust in wild Namibia.
7. “Morani and Friend” by Anup Shah (UK). First Place, Wildlife.
Two male lions, one old and one young, move together almost like conjoined twins towards an impala at the Maasai Mara, Kenya.
8. “Difference” by Ivan Pedretti (Italy). Honorable Mention, Landscape.
Winter in Stokksnes the beach in Iceland with black sand and the majestic Vestrahorn mountain.
9. “Thor's Well” by Tom Fenske (USA). Honorable Mention, Water.
Also known as the Drainpipe of the Pacific, this "well" in Yachats, Oregon is actually a hole in the rock that appears to drain water from the ocean. This beautiful shot was taken during sunset.
10. “ADI” by Francisco Javier Munuera González (Spain). First Place, Landscape.
The slope of Mount Adi, in Navarre, Spain.
11. “Cleaning the Lakes” by Amish Jain (India). Second Place, Climate.
A man cleans a lake where excessive waste has been dumped.
12. “Mystical Bromo” by Hendy Wicaksono (Indonesia). Second Place, Landscape.
Lightning strikes above a mountain in Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park in Indonesia.
13. “Balance” by Patrick Krohn (USA). Honorable Mention, Plants and Fungi.
Dew drops form over a purple heart flower on an early morning in spring in Aiken, South Carolina, USA.
14. “A Giant's Ballet” by Torie Hilley (USA). Honorable Mention, Wildlife.
Two young bull giraffes spar at a national park in South Africa.
15. “Untitled” by Giovani Cordioli (Brazil). Honorable Mention, People and Nature.
A massive cloud appears over Varadero beach, Cuba.
16. "Ghost Mushrooms” by Callie Chee (Australia). First Place, Plants and Fungi.
Ghost mushrooms, or Omphalotus nidiformis, get their name because of their eerie green glow, which is visible to the naked eye in complete darkness. They are found primarily in southern Australia and Tasmania.
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