Nature and Biodiversity

The people’s choice: Stunning images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023

Wildlife Photographer of the Year image of a sleeping polar bear.

The winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 People's Choice Award has been announced. Image: Nima Sarikhani/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Meg Jones
Writer, Forum Agenda
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Nature and Biodiversity

This article is part of: Centre for Nature and Climate
  • The winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 People's Choice Award has been announced.
  • The chosen image of a polar bear sleeping on a small iceberg is a powerful visualization of habitat loss caused by our warming climate.
  • Environmental and climate risks dominate global risk perceptions for the next decade, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report.

The people have spoken. The winner of this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award has been announced by the Natural History Museum in London, which organizes the competition.

The winner is British photographer Nima Sarikhani, who captured a stunning image of a sleeping polar bear after three days of searching for polar bears through thick fog in the Svalbard archipelago.

Over 75,000 people voted in the competition, which featured once-in-a-lifetime images from around the world. See the winning 'Ice Bed' photo and more of the top images below:

Ice Bed

Wildlife Photographer of the Year image of a sleeping polar bear.
Ice Bed. Image: Nima Sarikhani/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Sarikhani's image was selected as the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award out of almost 50,000 other entries.

The islands of Svalbard are home to one of the world’s 19 populations of polar bears. However, with warming occurring six times faster than the global average, Svalbard’s sea ice is thinning at an alarming rate, putting the polar bears' habitat at risk.

If biodiversity loss continues at the current pace, one million animal and plant species will be threatened with extinction. Moreover, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2024 found that environmental and climate risks dominate global risk perceptions for the next decade.

Aurora Jellies

Wildlife Photographer of the Year image of moon jellyfish
Aurora Jellies. Image: Audun Rikardsen/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Illuminated by the aurora borealis, these moon jellyfish were caught on camera swarming in the cool autumnal waters of a fjord outside Tromsø in northern Norway.

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Shared Parenting

Wildlife Photographer of the Year image of lionesses with a cub
Shared Parenting. Image: Mark Boyd/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Lionesses mutually share the caregiving roles within a pride, raising all cubs as their own. Photographer Mark Boyd caught this tender moment of “shared parenting” for one of the pride’s five cubs in Kenya’s Maasai Mara.

Starling Murmuration

Wildlife Photographer of the Year image of a murmuration of starlings.
Starling Murmuration. Image: Daniel Dencescu/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The flocking behaviour of starlings has long been the focus of photographers and nature enthusiasts. Photographer Daniel Dencescu caught this mesmerizing bird-like shape in Rome.

Starling breeding populations have declined sharply since the 1960s. Climate change, human pollution and the spread of invasive species have put many migratory species at risk of extinction, according to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals.

The Happy Turtle

Wildlife Photographer of the Year image of a turtle.
The Happy Turtle. Image: Tzahi Finkelstein/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

An unlikely moment of peace caught between a dragonfly and a Balkan pond turtle by Israeli photographer Tzahi Finkelstein.

Browse more entries for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year here.

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Nature and BiodiversityClimate ChangeClimate and Nature
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