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BBC Wildlife Camera-trap Photo of the Year 2012 – the winners
About the camera-trap competition
The winning images in this year’s BBC Wildlife camera-trap competition – of hungry cats, pugnacious bears and curious chinchillas – show why a picture isn’t always just a picture.
As forward leaps in technology go, camera-traps have been relatively unsung. Yet the introduction of sensitive, affordable digital camera-traps has proved to be one of the most important developments for field researchers, effectively multiplying the eyes of scientists and conservation workers.
Camera-traps don’t need to sleep or eat, but keep constant watch on key patches of habitat, ready to detect the action and providing priceless insights into wildlife movements, populations and distribution.
Established in 2010, this competition recognises the most visually exciting or significant camera-trap images taken by conservationists around the world. It offers us the opportunity to share the discoveries and triumphs of field researchers, and those organisations the chance to win funding for their projects.
This year’s hall of fame
Judging the hundreds of entries was, as always, both fascinating and enjoyable. The beautiful image of a Chinese leopard taken by Zhou Zhefeng for a project funded by the Shanxi Wocheng Institute of Ecology and Environment, is a worthy Overall and Animal Portraits Category Winner, securing the top prize of £3,000.
The other two Category Winners – both rewarded with a £1,000 prize – are a revelatory photo of a tiger feeding on a rhino carcass, taken by Sandesh Kadur during an ATREE biodiversity survey, and the delightful image of an oncilla captured by Robert Wallace for the Greater Madidi-Tambopata Landscape Conservation Program in Bolivia.
No prizes were awarded in the British category – so we’re challenging UK camera-trappers to up the ante next year!
Celebrating and rewarding conservation initiatives is at the heart of this competition’s ethos; the prizes – courtesy of the World Land Trust and Páramo Directional Clothing Systems – go to the winning projects, not the individual photographers.