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Drone Image Of Raging Bushfire Wins 'Wildlife Photographer Of The Year People's Choice Award'

Steve Irwin's son, Robert Irwin, has been crowned the winner of the 'People's Choice Award' in the popular Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition with his image of the devastating Australian bushfires.

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© Robert Irwin, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 'People's Choice Award'


Australian nature photographer Robert Irwin, who also happens to be Steve Irwin's son, has been crowned the winner of this year’s 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award'.

Robert's image was captured with a drone high above a natural conservation area when the Northern Australia bushfires were raging and it shows the untouched forest on one side and the blackened, devastated remains on the other with a line of fire separating the two. Taken near the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve in Cape York, Queensland, the area is of high conservation value and is home to over 30 different ecosystems with many endangered species.


Red Squirrel sleeping

© Neil Anderson, UK, Highly commended 2020, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 'People's Choice Award'


Commenting on his win Robert said: "I am incredibly excited to win the Wildlife Photographer of The Year People’s Choice Award. For me, nature photography is about telling a story to make a difference for the environment and our planet. I feel it is particularly special for this image to be awarded, not only as a profound personal honour but also as a reminder of our effect on the natural world and our responsibility to care for it."

The Director of the Natural History Museum, Dr Doug Gurr, said: "Robert's image is both stirring and symbolic. Last year the world stood aghast at the devastating wildfires that struck much of Australia, and this photograph depicts just one example of a staggering biodiversity loss caused by the detrimental impacts of climate change, habitat loss and pollution. But it is by no means too late for us to act. I hope those who see this image are enthused to learn more about the problems our natural world faces but also to take action in their daily lives - be it changing dietary or travel habits or even joining a local wildlife volunteering group."


Hare in the snow

© Andy Parkinson, UK, Highly commended 2020, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 'People's Choice Award'


Selected from a shortlist of 25 images, chosen by the Natural History Museum from over 49,000 images that were submitted for their annual competition, Robert's, and four other photographs, arose as favourites. These five images will be displayed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum, London when the Museum reopens. The exhibition will now be open until 1 August 2021.


Moose and dog

© Guillermo Esteves, USA, Highly commended 2020, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 'People's Choice Award'


The four 'Highly Commended' images that won over nature photography enthusiasts include Ami Vitale's heartwarming portrayal of a bond between ranger and rhino in ‘The last goodbye’, the wonderfully composed wintry portrait ‘Hare ball’ from Andy Parkinson, an innovative remote capture of two squirrels in ‘Drey dreaming’ from Neil Anderson and a ‘Close encounter’ between a worried-looking Labrador in a car and an enormous moose taken by Guillermo Esteves.


male northern white rhino

© Ami Vitale, USA, Highly commended 2020, Wildlife Photographer of the Year - 'People's Choice Award'


For more information, visit the Wildlife Photographer of the Year website. To see who won the overall competition title last year, have a look at our news: Siberian Tigress Photo Wins 'Wildlife Photographer Of The Year 2020'.

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