• The Natural History Museum’s 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year winners have been revealed.
  • More than 49,000 entries were received from around the world.The images showcase diverse habitats, behaviours and species.
  • The competition highlights the need to protect the natural world.

A photograph of a rare Siberian tigress hugging an ancient Manchurian fir in the Russian Far East has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 competition.

Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov took more than 11 months to capture the moment with hidden cameras.

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Sergey Gorshkov
The embrace by Sergey Gorshkov, Russia.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Sergey Gorshkov

Besides being striking, the image is evidence of the success of conservation efforts globally.

Tigers are among the world’s most endangered animals, but in July, WWF suggested the numbers were once more rising in Russia, as well as India, China, Nepal and Bhutan.

“Hunted to the verge of extinction in the past century, the Amur population is still threatened by poaching and logging today,” said Dr Tim Littlewood, the executive director of science of the UK’s Natural History Museum, which runs the competition.

“The remarkable sight of the tigress immersed in her natural environment offers us hope.”

Boosting biodiversity

The UN Environment Programme’s latest Global Biodiversity Outlook report calls for a shift away from ‘business as usual’ across a range of human activities to recognize the value of biodiversity and restore the ecosystems on which all human activity depends.

The Natural History Museum is playing a key role, as researchers from around the world use its collection of more than 80 million specimens to document how species have and continue to respond to environmental changes.

This helps predict what might happen in the future and inform future policies and plans to help the planet.

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, which has been running since 1965, saw more than 49,000 entries from across the globe - all raising awareness of the natural world and our need to protect it.

Here are another nine of the winning images.

Winner 2020: 10 years and under

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco
Perfect balance by Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco, Spain.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco

A European stonechat hunting for insects, taken in the meadows near Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco’s home in Ubrique, in Andalucia, Spain.

Winner 2020: 11-14 years old

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Sam Sloss
A mean mouthful by Sam Sloss, Italy/USA.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Sam Sloss

During a diving holiday in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, Sam Sloss watched the behaviour of a group of clownfish living in an anemone.

Winner 2020: 15-17 years old, Young Grand Title Winner

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020
The fox that got the goose by Liina Heikkinen, Finland.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Liina Heikkinen

On a summer holiday in Helsinki Liina Heikkinen, then aged 13, heard about a large fox family living in the city suburbs on the island of Lehtisaari.

Winner 2020: Behaviour - Invertebrates

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020
A tale of two wasps by Frank Deschandol, France.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Frank Deschandol

In a sandy bank on a brownfield site near his home in Normandy, northern France, Frank Deschandol located tiny digger wasp burrows suitable for a cuckoo wasp to use and out of full sun.

Winner 2020: Plants and Fungi

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Gabriel Eisenband
Out of the blue by Gabriel Eisenband, Colombia.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Gabriel Eisenband

Gabriel Eisenband spotted this white arnica, a member of the daisy family, on a trip to photograph Ritak’ Uwa Blanco, the highest peak in the Eastern Cordillera of the Colombian Andes.

Winner 2020: Under Water

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Songda Cai
The golden moment by Songda Cai, China.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Songda Cai

On a night‑dive over deep water, far off the coast of Anilao, in the Philippines, Songda Cai spotted this diamondback squid paralarva.

Winner 2020: Earth's Environments

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Luciano Gaudenzio
Etna's river of fire by Luciano Gaudenzio, Italy.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Luciano Gaudenzio

Luciano Gaudenzio and his colleagues had trekked for several hours up Mount Etna before capturing this scene.

Winner 2020: Wildlife Photojournalism - Single Image

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020 Kirsten Luce
Show Business by Kirsten Luce, USA.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Kirsten Luce

After a couple of years reporting on animal exploitation and abuse, Kirsten Luce photographed this polar bear at a travelling Russian circus in the city of Kazan, Tatarstan.

Winner 2020: Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award

National History Museum wildlife photographer of the year 2020
The Last Bite by Ripan Biswas, India.
Image: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Ripan Biswas

Ripan Biswas photographed this tiger beetle on a dry riverbed in Buxa Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, India.