Charismatic and yet elusive, wild mammals present the ultimate challenge for photographers. The Mammal Society’s 2016 Mammal Photographer of the Year competition showcases the very best talent from across the country.
The competition included four categories: Mammals in our Landscapes, Mammals on our Doorsteps, A Brief Encounter and Young Mammal Photographer of the Year (split into aged 15 and under and aged 16-18). The categories were judged by Kate MacRae, known as Wildlife Kate, international wildlife photography judge and former editor of BBC Wildlife magazine Sophie Stafford, and BBC Springwatch’s naturalist and author Nick Baker.
The entrants and winning photos can be viewed on Flickr at www.flickr.com/photos/87959705@N06/albums
Richard Bowler took the winning photograph of the Mammals on our Doorstep category. Judge Sophie said
“The polecat is a will-o-the-wisp, rarely seen and even more rarely photographed. Even as its range spreads across England, this elusive creature lives largely invisibly right under our noses. This photographer has not only seen it, but created a beautifully lit and exquisitely balanced portrait.”
The runner up photo for the Mammals on our Doorstep category is this image of an energetic otter entitled “Surfing the Weir” and was taken by Paul Dibben, on the river Stour in Dorset.
The winning photo in the Mammals in our Landscapes category was this image of deer rutting in Ashton Court, Bristol by Mark Eastment.
Runner up in the same category was Richard Bowler from North Wales with this beautiful photo of a fox in a cemetery, showcasing a more urban landscape.
Paul Dibben claimed the top spot in the A Brief Encounter category with this photo titled “Catch of the Day”. Paul said
“Patience is the name of the game to capture photos of these special creatures and it is a real privilege to get close to these wonderful mammals.”
Runner up for the A Brief Encounter category was this image of a bank vole taken by Sarah Darnell, who discovered that her local bank voles have a taste for plums.
The Young Mammal Photographer of the Year category certainly showcased some up and coming talent. Winner of the aged 15 and under section was 12 year old Alex White with this photo of a sitting hare. Judge Kate MacRae said
“Perfectly sharp and at eye-level with the subject, this young photographer has managed to capture a wonderful shot of a brown hare, poised in its arable environment.”
The winning photograph for the aged 16-18 section was this intriguing image by Kyle Moore of a fox entering a greenhouse. Judge Kate was struck by the lighting and composition of this image, and said
“Storytelling is an important skill for photographers to master, and this image of a fox, caught in mid-step within a greenhouse setting, speaks volumes about how these wild animals interact with our built environment.”
Judge Nick Baker said
“Seeing the quality of some of these images, even my best ‘fantasy’ shot wouldn’t have held a candle to this year’s entries. There were some truly staggering images and it was nice to see many of these coming from young photographers as well. It’s been a pleasure to have been able to be part of the judging team for what is rapidly becoming a leading wildlife photography competition”.
A free exhibition of the winning photographs will be held at The Mammal Society Spring Conference on the 8th April at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, Stafford from 7pm. Afterwards, the public are invited to attend the annual Cranbrook lecture, entitled “Sticking to the evidence: poo traps, politics and the mammal researcher” given by Jonathan Reynolds of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust.
Mammals in our Landscapes
Winner: A 2 night 2016 mid-week stay in one of Knepp Wildland Safari’s luxury shepherds huts. www.kneppsafaris.co.uk
Runner up: A Ltl Acorn 6310MC trail cam donated by NatureSpy www.naturespy.org
Mammals on our Doorstep
Winner: A day of wildlife photography with the Westcountry Wildlife Photography Centre www.wcwpc.co.uk/index.htm
A Brief Encounter
Winner: A choice of 3 wildlife conservation holidays in Suffolk with Wild Days Conservation www.wilddaysconservation.org/holidays/location/suffolk/
Runner up: A wildlife photographer’s hide from CJ Wildlife, along with a Conqueror bird feeder and 20 kg of feed. www.birdfood.co.uk/
Young Mammal Photographer of the Year
Winner aged 15 and under: A 119740, top of the range Bushnell trail cam http://bushnell.com/all-products/trail-cameras/natureview/live-view
Winner aged 16-18: A pair of Opticron Trailfinder 10 x 42 binoculars donated by WildCare Nationwide Ecology Supplies http://www.wildcareshop.com/
All further images for use with the press release are available from email@example.com All images are copyrighted to the photographers and The Mammal Society.
The Mammal Society promotes evidence-based conservation. It delivers training courses to professionals and members of the public; produces good practise conservation and mitigation handbooks and undertakes scientific research to improve conservation. It is currently conducting the official review of the conservation status and population size of British mammals for the English, Scottish and Welsh governments. Its Mammal Atlas, which tracks the change in mammal distribution over the last 20 years, will be published in early 2017.
The Mammal Society’s 62nd Spring conference will be held at Yarnfield Park Training and Conference Centre, Stafford from the 8th-10th April 2016. New for this year we have a selection of workshops for practitioners, centred around the topics of bats and wind turbines, the new Mammal Society Water Vole Mitigation Handbook and monitoring mammal populations. More details can be found online at conference.
For more details or photos contact Charlotte Marshall at 02380010982, 07891495854 or firstname.lastname@example.org