The Best Nature Images From the 2017 World Press Photo Awards
This story originally appeared on time.com.
The human thirst for progress means animals’ natural habitats are increasingly under threat. Francis Perez’s distressing image of a sea turtle entangled in fishnets perfectly captures this tension between nature and its artificial enemy and won First Prize in the World Press Nature Singles category.
Meanwhile, as the endangered species Red List increased by 16,118 last year alone, Brent Stirton’s documentation of rhino poaching in Africa serves as a painful reminder of man’s complicity. The series was awarded first prize in the Stories category.
"We have to recognize that the way we treat animal is a mark of our humanity," says Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin, the chair of this year's jury. "It’s as much about humanity as it is about nature. I respect hugely what Brent Stirton has tried to show."
Ami Vitale’s playful depiction of giant pandas in captivity took second place and Bence Máté’s starry portraits of nature’s majestic heavyweights took third place, both in the Stories category.
The winning photographs were selected from among 80,408 images submitted by 5,034 photographers from 125 different countries. In the end, 45 photographers from 25 countries made up the winning list. They will receive their awards at a ceremony in Amsterdam on April 22.
A sea turtle entangled in a fishing net swims off the coast of Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain on June 8, 2016. Francis Pérez, winner in the Nature - First Prize, Singles category.
A wild leopard strolls through Sanjay Gandhi National Park, a protected area in the northern part of Mumbai city, India, on Sept. 24 2016. Nayan Khanolkar, winner in the Nature - Second Prize, Singles category.
A carpet of monarch butterflies cover the forest floor of El Rosario Butterfly Sanctuary, in Michoacan, Mexico, on March 12, 2016, after a strong snowstorm hit a few days earlier. Jaime Rojo, winner in the Nature - Third Prize, Singles category.
Ye Ye, a 16-year-old giant panda, lounges in a massive wild enclosure at a conservation center in Wolong Nature Reserve. Ami Vitale for National Geographic Magazine, winner in the Nature - Second Prize, Stories category.
Seven-year-old giant panda Min Min had a baby girl at Bifengxia Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center in Sichuan Province, China. Ami Vitale for National Geographic Magazine, winner in the Nature - Second Prize, Stories category.
Buffalos at the drinking station. Bence Máté, winner in the Nature - Third Prize, Stories category.
Hippopotamus under the starry sky. Bence Máté, winner in the Nature - Third Prize, Stories category.
African Elephant under the starry sky. Bence Máté, winner in the Nature - Third Prize, Stories category.
Fallow deer walk in the silence of the night. Bence Máté, winner in the Nature - Third Prize, Stories category.