A preview of the “Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022” award, here are 10 of the most beautiful nature photos of the year

It is an award that celebrates both the beauty of nature and its fragility. For 58 years, the Natural History Museum in London has organized the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awarding the best nature photographs of the year.

In 2022, extreme weather episodes linked to global warming have multiplied on the planet. Even more than usual, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year therefore, it emphasizes a nature damaged by man, vulnerable to rising temperatures.

Franceinfo was able to admire 10 of the photos selected by an international jury, which will announce the winners on October 11th. Discover these photos that disrupt the way we see living things and re-examine the link between humanity and its environment.

Frog pool party.  (© Brandon Güell / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Brandon Güell waded for a long time in the murky water of a lake to document the frogs’ reproductive frenzy. Overwhelmed by mosquitoes, with water in his chest, he came as close as possible to a gathering of singing males.

As night fell, thousands of females arrived at the lake to mate and lay their eggs in the palm fronds. Here, unmated males await the arrival of females to mate. These spectacular mass-breeding events only occur in a few rare places, a few times a year. Each female lays about 200 eggs on the leaves, creating huge egg masses. The tadpoles eventually fall into the water below.

Wanted!  (© Britta Jaschinski / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Britta Jaschinski created this role-play to denounce the impact of coltan mining. Bright blue, coltan is a component of cell phone and laptop batteries. Britta placed around mining tools and animal remains impacted by the mining industry, all of which were seized by customs authorities: a skull, gorilla bones, plus porcupine spines.

Coltan is mined from river beds in the Democratic Republic of Congo by poorly paid miners who hunt wild animals for food. Hunting and wildlife trade threaten the future of the country’s gorillas and have increased the risk of transmitting the virus to humans.

Water wonderland.  (© Tiina Törmänen, Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Tiina Törmänen was swimming through cloud-shaped clumps of algae in a lake in Finnish Lapland. She was delighted to discover this school of curious perches in this lake where she dives every year in the summer. For the past three years, she had found only dead fish. Immersed in this surreal scene, she framed the orange-finned fish moving through clouds of pink-tinged algae.

Despite the magical nature of the scenario, the excessive growth of algae, as a result of climate change and warming waters, can lead to a disruption of the ecosystem, as they block sunlight and consume oxygen through decomposition, which leads to the death of aquatic fauna. .

The Laziness Dilemma.  (© Suzi Eszterhas, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Suzi Eszter immortalized the encounter between a sloth and a dog. This brown-throated sloth had already crossed a road, but to get to the next group of trees, it had to go down and crawl on the ground. When he met this big dog, he stopped. Suzi watched in fear, but the dog, who had taken part in a training program organized by a sloth conservation association, just sniffed at him.

Sloths live in trees and rarely descend to the forest floor. Due to increasing habitat loss and forest fragmentation, they are forced to move to urbanized areas to find food, suitable habitats and mates.

The snow deer.  (© Joshua Cox, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Joshua Cox immortalized this young deer standing majestically in the snow. It had started to snow when Joshua and his father arrived in Richmond Park. They followed the deer a good distance away when suddenly the snow intensified and one of the deer stopped. “He almost looked like he was taking a shower of snow”says Joshua.

Richmond Park is home to herds of deer and fallow deer, which have roamed freely since 1637. Deer herding helps maintain the park’s landscape.

Capture of the day.  (© Srikanth Mannepuri, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Srikanth Mannepuri takes a serious look at the scale of commercial fisheries. Srikanth was shocked to see so many marlins and sailboats recently caught in one place in one morning. To show the scale of this fish market, he used a drone to take the panoramic image.

Sailboats and marlins are large ocean predators essential to ecosystems. Globally, 85% of fish stocks are currently overexploited by humans. Without urgent efforts to protect marine habitats and adopt truly sustainable fishing practices, we will soon see some species disappear for good.

The hidden giraffe.  (© Jose Fragozo, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

José Fragozo made an image symbolizing the confrontation of the natural world with human activities. Stabilizing his camera from his moving vehicle, José followed the giraffe. The giant pillars of Kenya’s new railway line contrast with the unique motif of nature’s largest land mammal.

All over the world, human development is increasingly encroaching on the territory and habitat of animals. While this stretch of railway through Nairobi National Park is erected on giant columns to allow wildlife to pass underneath, this image is symbolic of how the space for wildlife continues to shrink.

Life and death for fur.  (© Jo-Anne McArthur, Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Jo-Anne McArthur tells us about the living conditions of the young American mink on a farm in Sweden. For Jo-Anne, it’s important to document cruelty to encourage change. On this mink farm, the sign above the cramped cage indicates that two pups have died. Due to legislative changes since this photo was taken, farms now have slightly larger cages, but living conditions for the animals remain appalling.

In 2020, scientists discovered that mink can catch the Covid-19 virus and that it can mutate and be transmitted to humans. In response, Denmark closed this industry. In 2022, in Sweden, after a temporary ban, the government authorized the reopening of some farms.

The lost floods.  (© Jasper Doest, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Jasper Doest painted the portrait of Lubinda Lubinda, revealing the impact of drought on the Zambezi floodplain. Lubinda Lubinda is the director of an observation station on the Zambezi River. His new house (on the right) must not have been built at the same level as the previous ones, witnessing the downward evolution of the river’s flood level, a consequence of the more frequent droughts in the river’s catchment area, in relation to climate change and deforestation.

The biodiversity of this plain depends on the regularity of the floods, as well as the way of life of the Barotse people. This wetland provides the local population with fish, pasture for livestock, fertile soil and materials for building traditional houses.

Polar frame.  (© Dmitry Kokh, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2022)

Dmitry Kokh tells us about his encounter with polar bears who took over an abandoned village in the Russian High Arctic.

As Dmitry’s boat approached the tiny island of Kolyuchin, abandoned by men since 1992, he was surprised to see movement in one of the houses. A sighting through binoculars revealed to him that polar bears – more than 20 in total – were exploring the ghost town. Dmitry used a silent drone to document this surreal experience.

Extremely curious, polar bears explore abandoned structures in search of potential food. With climate change reducing sea ice, it is becoming increasingly difficult for these bears to feed, which drives them closer to human settlements to feed there.

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