Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010

The world’s most prestigious wildlife photography competition, Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year, has revealed the commended images from this year’s competition. They are among the selection that will join more than 100 other prize-winning photographs, including the overall winning images, when the exhibition debuts at the Natural History Museum, London on October 22nd.

  • The hidden plague by Joel Sartore. Category:  One Earth Award. This is a crime scene in a remote corner of California, high in the Sixty Lakes basin area of the Sierra Nevada: mountain yellow-legged frog corpses lie belly-up. The culprit is a chytrid fungus, which causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis, implicated in the decline or rapid extinction of at least 200 species of frogs and other amphibians worldwide. The disease was first seen in frogs in the Sierra Nevada in 2004, since then it has reduced the population of mountain yellow-legged frogs from tens of thousands to just a few hundred. The death of the frogs is emblematic of a global amphibian decline. It is believed that the fungus is being spread in part by the international trade in amphibians for display, food and laboratory use, its effects enhanced by global warming. Its impact on frogs has resulted in the biggest loss of vertebrate life due to disease ever recorded Photograph: Joel Sartore/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearThe hidden plague by Joel Sartore. Category: One Earth Award. This is a crime scene in a remote corner of California, high in the Sixty Lakes basin area of the Sierra Nevada: mountain yellow-legged frog corpses lie belly-up. The culprit is a chytrid fungus, which causes the infectious disease chytridiomycosis, implicated in the decline or rapid extinction of at least 200 species of frogs and other amphibians worldwide. The disease was first seen in frogs in the Sierra Nevada in 2004, since then it has reduced the population of mountain yellow-legged frogs from tens of thousands to just a few hundred. The death of the frogs is emblematic of a global amphibian decline. It is believed that the fungus is being spread in part by the international trade in amphibians for display, food and laboratory use, its effects enhanced by global warming. Its impact on frogs has resulted in the biggest loss of vertebrate life due to disease ever recorded Photograph: Joel Sartore/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • A miracle of monarchs by Axel Gomille. Category: Behaviour - All Other Animals. Millions of monarch butterflies migrate from North America to spend the winter in the El Rosario forest, high in the mountains of central Mexico. "The sheer density is unbelievable," says Axel Gomille. "I had never seen anything like this before. It was breathtaking. They landed on my fingers, my cap, my camera - everywhere." In March, as the temperature increases, the monarchs start to become more active and the migration northward begins. After warming up in the first rays of the early morning sun, the roosting monarchs fly down to drink: they need water to make use of their tiny fat reserves. Gomille's aim was to capture the butterflies movement and their rich colours lit up against the dark forest backdrop. To do this he lay almost in the puddle, so that the sun lit the butterflies from the side, highlighting the ones in the air. When they take off, it sounds like wind. Photograph: Axel Gomille/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearA miracle of monarchs by Axel Gomille. Category: Behaviour - All Other Animals. Millions of monarch butterflies migrate from North America to spend the winter in the El Rosario forest, high in the mountains of central Mexico. "The sheer density is unbelievable," says Axel Gomille. "I had never seen anything like this before. It was breathtaking. They landed on my fingers, my cap, my camera - everywhere." In March, as the temperature increases, the monarchs start to become more active and the migration northward begins. After warming up in the first rays of the early morning sun, the roosting monarchs fly down to drink: they need water to make use of their tiny fat reserves. Gomille's aim was to capture the butterflies movement and their rich colours lit up against the dark forest backdrop. To do this he lay almost in the puddle, so that the sun lit the butterflies from the side, highlighting the ones in the air. When they take off, it sounds like wind. Photograph: Axel Gomille/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Dawn Call by Pierre Vernay. Category:  Animals in their Environment. The roar of a red deer stag carries an unmistakable message: the more powerful the roar, the stronger the stag. The sound is designed to carry in a forest, leaving both hinds and competitors in no doubt about the caller's physical superiority. To catch the action of the rut, Pierre Vernay stationed himself in Dyrehaven forest, an ancient deer park north of Copenhagen in Denmark. Going out at dawn, he planned to photograph the deer backlit against the rising sun. Just as the very first beams of sunshine lit up the grass, a stag emerged from below a huge oak tree to challenge a rival that had strayed too close. One set of bellowing was enough - the rival got the message, loud and clear, and vanished Photograph: Pierre Vernay/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearDawn Call by Pierre Vernay. Category: Animals in their Environment. The roar of a red deer stag carries an unmistakable message: the more powerful the roar, the stronger the stag. The sound is designed to carry in a forest, leaving both hinds and competitors in no doubt about the caller's physical superiority. To catch the action of the rut, Pierre Vernay stationed himself in Dyrehaven forest, an ancient deer park north of Copenhagen in Denmark. Going out at dawn, he planned to photograph the deer backlit against the rising sun. Just as the very first beams of sunshine lit up the grass, a stag emerged from below a huge oak tree to challenge a rival that had strayed too close. One set of bellowing was enough - the rival got the message, loud and clear, and vanished Photograph: Pierre Vernay/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • The drop by Andrew Parkinson. Category: Animals in their Environment. With his legs dangling over the edge, Andrew Parkinson tried to avoid any foreground showing in the picture by leaning right into the gale-force westerly. "Like so many people with a fear of heights, I am almost hypnotically drawn to drops, and I was determined to show the fulmar as part of this spectacularly precipitous landscape though if the wind had stopped, I might have had a problem. The fulmar is such an aerodynamic bird that the splayed tail feathers and legs seem comically incongruous. But the bird was, in fact, coping perfectly well with the winds surging up the cliff face. Indeed, it seemed to be just enjoying riding the swells." Photograph: Andrew Parkinson/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearThe drop by Andrew Parkinson. Category: Animals in their Environment. With his legs dangling over the edge, Andrew Parkinson tried to avoid any foreground showing in the picture by leaning right into the gale-force westerly. "Like so many people with a fear of heights, I am almost hypnotically drawn to drops, and I was determined to show the fulmar as part of this spectacularly precipitous landscape though if the wind had stopped, I might have had a problem. The fulmar is such an aerodynamic bird that the splayed tail feathers and legs seem comically incongruous. But the bird was, in fact, coping perfectly well with the winds surging up the cliff face. Indeed, it seemed to be just enjoying riding the swells." Photograph: Andrew Parkinson/Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Lookout by Ken Dyball. Category:  Nature in Black and White. Ken Dybal got to know this caracal well. Living in Kenya's Masai Mara, the young male's mother appeared to be trying to encourage him to become independent. She would leave him alone for long periods of time, says Dyball, presumably hoping he would learn to fend for himself. He slept in a den in the ground during the day, emerging in the evening to wait for her. Early one morning, as Dyball explored the spot where he had last seen the caracal, he heard the thunder of hooves. As a herd of wildebeest galloped past, pursued by hyenas, the terrified young caracal shot out of the grass and up the nearest tree. He did the right thing. They stampeded straight over his den, says DyballLookout by Ken Dyball. Category: Nature in Black and White. Ken Dybal got to know this caracal well. Living in Kenya's Masai Mara, the young male's mother appeared to be trying to encourage him to become independent. She would leave him alone for long periods of time, says Dyball, presumably hoping he would learn to fend for himself. He slept in a den in the ground during the day, emerging in the evening to wait for her. Early one morning, as Dyball explored the spot where he had last seen the caracal, he heard the thunder of hooves. As a herd of wildebeest galloped past, pursued by hyenas, the terrified young caracal shot out of the grass and up the nearest tree. He did the right thing. They stampeded straight over his den, says Dyball
  • Fishing frenzy by Tomasz Racznyski (Poland). Category: Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. A black-browed albatross has just surfaced after diving for the discarded horse mackerel and is being set upon by a rabble of other birds. On a trawler in the South Pacific, fish falling from the nets as they are pulled up are an irresistible lure Picture: Tomasz Racznyski / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearFishing frenzy by Tomasz Racznyski (Poland). Category: Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife. A black-browed albatross has just surfaced after diving for the discarded horse mackerel and is being set upon by a rabble of other birds. On a trawler in the South Pacific, fish falling from the nets as they are pulled up are an irresistible lure Picture: Tomasz Racznyski / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • Sunset moment by Olivier Puccia (France). Category: Urban Wildlife. Overlooking Ramtek in Maharashtra, western India, Hanuman langurs find the highest point from which to admire the sunset. Squeezed out of their forest homes by deforestation and the spread of human habitation, Hanuman langurs have become part of urban life in many parts of India Picture: Olivier Puccia / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearSunset moment by Olivier Puccia (France). Category: Urban Wildlife. Overlooking Ramtek in Maharashtra, western India, Hanuman langurs find the highest point from which to admire the sunset. Squeezed out of their forest homes by deforestation and the spread of human habitation, Hanuman langurs have become part of urban life in many parts of India Picture: Olivier Puccia / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • The thoughtful baboon by Adrian Bailey (South Africa). Category: Behaviour - Mammals. Each morning, thousands of Cape turtle doves flock to a trickling seep at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, the only source of water for miles around. Birds of prey, meanwhile, line up in trees on nearby cliffs and pick off the drinking doves. This young male baboon finds one of the victims on the ground Picture: Adrian Bailey / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearThe thoughtful baboon by Adrian Bailey (South Africa). Category: Behaviour - Mammals. Each morning, thousands of Cape turtle doves flock to a trickling seep at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, the only source of water for miles around. Birds of prey, meanwhile, line up in trees on nearby cliffs and pick off the drinking doves. This young male baboon finds one of the victims on the ground Picture: Adrian Bailey / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • The ant-shepherd and its little flock by Matt Cole (UK). Category: Behaviour - All Other Animals. A Black Ant (Lasius niger) herding Black Bean Aphids (Aphis fabae), to 'milk' their honeydew (an ant stroking the aphids with its feelers to encourage them to excrete drops of honeydew). Taken in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire Picture: Matt Cole / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearThe ant-shepherd and its little flock by Matt Cole (UK). Category: Behaviour - All Other Animals. A Black Ant (Lasius niger) herding Black Bean Aphids (Aphis fabae), to 'milk' their honeydew (an ant stroking the aphids with its feelers to encourage them to excrete drops of honeydew). Taken in Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire Picture: Matt Cole / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year
  • A carcass-eye view by Juergen Ross. Category: Behaviour - Mammals. A feeding lioness is framed by the carcass of a giraffe at South Africa's Kruger National Park. Picture: Jürgen Ross / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the YearA carcass-eye view by Juergen Ross. Category: Behaviour - Mammals. A feeding lioness is framed by the carcass of a giraffe at South Africa's Kruger National Park. Picture: Jürgen Ross / Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The world’s most prestigious wildlife photography competition, Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year, has revealed the commended images from this year’s competition. They are among the selection that will join more than 100 other prize-winning photographs, including the overall winning images, when the exhibition debuts at the Natural History Museum, London on October 22nd.

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