Fox and marmot standoff image wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019
A photograph capturing the drama of a predator-prey interaction has won the prestigious wildlife photography competition.
The winning images for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 were announced on 15 October in the Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum, with the overall winner awarded to Yongqing Bao from China for his image, The Moment.
His photograph was also the joint winner in the Behaviour: Mammals category.
"Photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment," says Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the judging panel, and a former editor of BBC Wildlife Magazine. "The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance. Images from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are rare enough, but to have captured such a powerful interaction between a Tibetan fox and a marmot – two species key to the ecology of this high-grassland region – is extraordinary."
The Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 title was awarded to Cruz Erdmann from New Zealand, who also won the 11-14 years old category, for his Night Glow image depicting an iridescent big fin reef squid in the Lembeh Straight in Indonesia.
"To dive in the pitch dark, find this beautiful squid and to be able to photograph it so elegantly, to reveal its wonderful shapes and colours, takes so much skill. What a resounding achievement for such a young photographer," says Theo Bosboom, nature photographer and member of the judging panel for this year's competition.
The 2019 competition received over 48,000 entries from 100 countries, and the winning and highly commended images will be on display at the Natural History Museum from Friday 18 October 2019. The exhibition will tour across the UK and around the world.
The next Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition opens for entries on Monday 21 October 2019.
More images from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition can be found in our online gallery of winning images, and in the November issue of BBC Wildlife Magazine (on sale from 24 October).
Main image: © Yongqing Bao/Wildlife Photographer of the Year