Magic moments with misunderstood mammals 20/02/2013
Capturing ‘extraordinary’ behaviour of Britain’s mammals was just one of the criteria the judges were looking for when examining entries to The Mammal Society Mammal Photographer of the Year competition.
(c) Roy Rimmer
Marina Pacheco is The Mammal Society’s chief executive. Commenting on the high standard of the competition entries, she said: “Compared with birds or even insects, mammals can even be difficult to see, let alone photograph. So, we knew that inviting photographers to capture mammals’ unusual behaviour was going to be a tall order. However, we were stunned by the 370 submissions. Our entrants have not only captured the essence of British mammals, but from deer to dolphins and red deer to rats, they’ve also captured the sheer diversity too.”
(c) Julie Milne
Often feared and shunned, brown rats are perhaps an unlikely photographic model. However, Roy Rimmer, of Wigan, Greater Manchester, defied public misconceptions and used technical excellence to freeze the motion of a jumping rat. Wildlife photographer Kate MacRae was one of the judges. She said: “This image quite literally ‘leapt’ out at me when I first saw it. Often misunderstood and unfairly depicted, I loved the unique energy in this capture.”
Staying with a ‘mammals around us’ theme, Julie Milne, from South East England, won judges’ hearts with an image of a fox licking a window. Marina Pacheco added: “Foxes have hit the headlines recently for all the wrong reasons. However, this image helps to challenge misconceptions and shows an engaging side to the distant cousin of man’s best friend.
The third prize winner was Gary Cox, with a photo of a wood mouse with a blackberry, which judges said showed a common mammal, often overlooked and under-appreciated, in an extraordinary way. The under-18 category attracted some fantastic winning entries. Alex Berryman of Fleet, Hampshire, turned to one of the UK’s most threatened mammals for inspiration by capturing a technically excellent shot of a water vole. While Alessandro Oggioni of Monza, Italy, froze the movement when two dolphins leapt out of the water, off the coast of Inverness. The stunningly atmospheric image of a roe buck at dawn by Becky Cartwright of Cannock, Staffordshire, was the winning entry from the Mammal Society’s membership.
As a collection, the entrants from this year remind us to appreciate even the most common of species, as well as iconic mammals such as red squirrel and hedgehog, and encourage us to look at our mammals with a renewed sense of respect and admiration.
The first prize is a top of the range Spypoint HD10 Wildlife Camera worth £250. A Cooley Wildlife Photography day, in Ireland, including two nights bed and breakfast, worth £150, will be awarded to the runner up. The third-place winner will receive £30 Wildlife Watching Supplies gift voucher, while the under 18 category winners will each receive a pair of Bushnell 8x21 binoculars worth £30.
The membership winner will receive a Bushnell TrophyCam remote camera worth £250.
1. Links to all images for use with the press release are available here (Higher resolution images are available upon request by emailing email@example.com):
The 16 finalists’ winning images (including highly commended images) can be seen here:
The full list of 199 shortlisted images can be found here:
2. The Mammal Society is the only organisation involved in the study and conservation of all British mammals. We work to identify the threats our mammals face, and halt declines. We promote the study of mammals with the aim of offering the best scientific advice for their conservation. We inform, educate and involve people of all ages to raise awareness of mammal conservation issues, in order to help protect them for the future. www.mammal.org.uk
3. The Mammal Society Mammal Photographer of the Year 2013 ran between Autumn 2012 until 31st January 2013. The remit was to capture images that tell a story, show rare behaviour, highlight mammals in a fragile environment, or make the ordinary extraordinary. The aim was to bring mammals into public focus, raise awareness of the issues they face, and encourage us to appreciate the species that are often overlooked but essential to the health of our habitats. More information can be found here: www.mammal.org.uk/photo_
4. Judges were renowned garden wildlife expert Kate MacRae (www.wildlifekate.co.uk) and photographer Steve Magennis (www.stevemagennis.co.uk). The competition was organised by The Mammal Society Student Committee member Amanda Wilson (www.hutton.ac.uk/staff/
5. We are asking members of the public to visit our photostream of all 199 shortlisted images (link above) on Flickr to vote for their favourite images, the top 50 of which will be displayed in an exhibition at Exeter University on Friday 19th April 6.30-9pm, on the eve of our annual Spring Conference, to coincide with the annual open Cranbrook Lecture being given this year by renowned mammalogists Dr Pat Morris. The exhibition is free to attend and sponsored by South West Water.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Marina Pacheco, CEO