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Sergey Gorshkov wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year2 min read

October 21, 2020 2 min read

Sergey Gorshkov wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

And the results of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year are out! Sergey Gorshkov, who spent 11 months trying to capture a Siberian tiger using motion sensor cameras (these cameras have sensors that take pictures every time they detect movement in their vicinity) won the title for his picture, The Embrace.

The image shows a Siberian tiger scent-marking by rubbing against a giant Manchurian fir free. An endangered species, it’s rare to capture Siberian tigers in the wild, especially in the midst of exhibiting natural behaviours in the wild. Sergey managed to click in Land of the Leopards National Park, one of the last strongholds of this beautiful species.

What is scent marking?

Scent marking is a type of olfactory communication by an animal, where it leaves its scent (by rubbing against something or peeing) in certain marked areas to send signals to another animal. This is much like Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of breadcrumbs in the jungle, only far more efficient!

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, announced the winner. The competition had over 49,000 entries this year.

Sergey Gorshkov is one of the founders of the Russian Union of Wildlife Photographers and his images have been printed in magazines across the world. He currently specialises in the polar regions of Russia, photographing bears, foxes, and geese that live in this cold region.

Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Another category in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition was to feature young talent. This title was won by Liina Heikkinen from Finland, for her image of a red fox defending its food from its siblings.

Liina is the youngest in a family of wildlife photographers and spent much of her life immersed in Finland’s natural spaces. She particularly enjoys photographing birds.

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Photo: Panthera tigris tigris, Bengal tiger, The Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London

Did you know that the Siberian Tiger, or Amur Tiger, was hunted for its fur and bones to the brink of extinction, much like it’s cousin the Javan Tiger. Only 20-30 tigers remained in Russia but legal action and conservation efforts have brought this number up to 550.

With excerpts from National History Museum