Foraging fox, suckling seal, dozing dormouse, swimming squirrel, and peeking pine marten among the awe-inspiring images singled out in Mammal Photographer of the Year 2023.
The winners of the Mammal Society’s annual photographic competition have been announced today and the first prize has been claimed by Stuart Pevy from Surrey.
“An unusual and charismatic moment of a handsome badger,” said judge Dani Connor, professional wildlife photographer and Youtuber. “Badgers have faced so much prosecution in recent years, it’s beautiful to see one with such character. A reminder of how wonderful these animals are”. The awestruck sentiment was matched by professional photographer and badger researcher, Dr Dave Hudson who added, “I can’t put my finger on exactly what I love here. It keeps drawing me back in. I’m hoping the apple is a local tree so I know its Autumn,” noting the connection with this year’s theme, Mammals Through the Seasons. Stuart’s badger photograph takes the overall winner prize, as the apple of the judging panel’s eyes.
Stuart wins a High Season Photography Day Voucher courtesy of the British Wildlife Centre.
The runner-up prize is awarded to Philip Orris for his stunning photograph of a red fox peeking out through the buttercups. Award-winning author, photographer and tree scientist Dr Gabriel Hemery said, “This is a gorgeous portrait of a fox among meadow flowers. Super sharp subject with just the right amount of background to show its habitat.”
Philip – who captured the image – said, “This red fox posed beautifully for a few moments whilst it curiously looked around to ensure it was safe to come out of the undergrowth. ”
Philip wins a place on one of the Mammal Society’s online training courses.
This year, we had lots of fantastic images submitted that had been taken on a mobile phone. “Torpid dormouse on fallen leaves” by Lorna Griffiths was selected by our judges as this year’s best image taken on a mobile phone.
All four of this year’s judges pulled out the image as their top phone favourite, with broadcaster and Mammal Society patron Zeb Soanes pointing out how unusual the shot was. Dani Connor added, “The photographer has made great use of the moment; using a wide angle and getting low has really shown this peaceful dormouse in its natural habitat.” All judges agreed that this photo captured this year’s theme perfectly while emphasising the fact that beautiful images can still be taken without the need for camera equipment.
Lorna wins a £50 gift voucher courtesy of NHBS.
With huge numbers of excellent photographs submitted this year, our judges had an almost impossible task of choosing their favourites. 25 additional images were given the title of highly commended, and are shown below. Hover over or hold the images for the photographer’s name, and click the images to enlarge them.
CEO of the Mammal Society, Matt Larsen-Daw was extremely impressed with the quality of the hundreds of entries submitted for this year’s competition “We were delighted to receive such a large number of high-quality entries to this year’s Mammal Photographer Of The Year competition. We share the landscapes of the British Isles with an incredible variety of beautiful and fascinating mammals, but they are so often unseen, living secretively underground, under foliage, or under cover of darkness. Rightfully wary of humans and our pets they are usually out of sight – but should never be out of mind. These wonderful photos give us a glimpse into this unseen world – revealing intriguing behaviours and amusing interactions that remind us of this busy unseen world of wildlife through which we walk. This year’s theme has inspired some wonderful responses that celebrate and explore the rhythms of the natural world as experienced by our wild neighbours. Huge thanks to all of those who braved the elements and used their patience and skill to bring us these thrilling insights, and congratulations to those singled out for prizes and special commendation.”
All winning and highly commended photographs can be viewed at the MPOY2023 exhibition, which is taking place this year at Nottingham Trent University’s Brackenhurst Campus, at the start of the Mammal Society’s Annual Conference in August. Entry to the exhibition and the Plenary Lecture on Friday 4th of August is free to the public. The 2023 Mammal Society Annual Conference is sponsored by RSK Biocensus. For more details go to our Annual Conference webpage.
Additional special mentions for other photograph submissions will be shared across our website and social media channels over the coming weeks.
Images – please email email@example.com for high res versions of prize-winning and highly commended images. Images are only to be used in connection and adjacent to content about the Mammal Photographer of the Year competition and Mammal Society/[photographer’s name] should always be credited.