Every year the World Press Photo has a contest to award the best photojournalism photos taken over the past year. Here are the winners of the World Press Photo award – Nature Category
Colima Volcano in Mexico shows a powerful night explosion with lightning, ballystics and some incandescent rockfalls. Photo taken on dec. 13 at 22:24 hours, 12.5 km away from the crater near a lagoon named Carrizalillos on Comala municipality in the state of Colima.
Colima Volcano had a period of enormous activity on july of 2015, at least 700 inhabitants were evacuated from their settlements. The volcano mantains activity with 3 to 6 explosions by day.
Lightning on Colima Volcano explosions became common on last months. This particular lightning is more than 600 meters long, so the big light made clear some details of the south portion of volcano. It’s an 8 seconds shot, time enough to catch the explosion and the lightning.
Photo: Sergio Velasco
Divers observe and surround a humpback whale and her newborn calf whilst they swim around Roca Partida in the Revillagigedo Islands, Mexico, Jan. 28, 2015.
Photo by Anuar Patjane Floriuk
Sunbather oblivious to the ominous shelf cloud approaching – on Bondi beach. A massive “cloud tsunami” looms over Sydney in a spectacular weather event seen only a few times a year.
The enormous shelf cloud rolled in from the sea, turning the sky almost black and bringing violent thunderstorms in its wake.
Photo by Abbey Earl for Flickerfest
3rd Prize – Chameleon under pressure
Panther chameleon, Furcifer pardalis, orange form from northern Madagascar, now very rare in the wild due to intense collecting for the pet trade.
Two males fighting.
Controlled conditions in a large voliere at Madagascar exotique. Photo by Christian Ziegler for National Geographic.
Brookesia decaryi male and female sit in perfect camouflage in the leaf litter of a dry forest in Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar, Nov. 26, 2015. Photo by Christian Ziegler for National Geographic.
Furcifer ambrensis, female foraging for insects with extendable tongue. Photo by Christian Ziegler for National Geographic.
Furcifer balteatus, a juvenile in a recently burned landscape.
Fires are often deadly for chameleons, because they can’t move fast enough to escape them. The common practice of burning the landscape at the end of every dry season has affected many species of chameleons, and reduced their populations. Photo by Christian Ziegler for National Geographic.
2nd Prize – Ivory Wars
ZAKOUMA NATIONAL PARK, CHAD: Rangers from a horse patrol group exhibit their riding skills as they return to base at Zakouma National Park, Chad after weeks on elephant patrol. The horse patrols are the old guard of Zakouma’s rangers and have seen a good deal of conflict in their time in the park. Zakouma lost nearly 75% of its elephants in the decade before 2011 due to raids by Janajaweed and Sudanese poachers, many of them from the Sudanese military. The president of Chad, Idris Deby, is a big supporter of the elephant of Zakouma and of its elephants. The herds here until recently used to be as large as 1000 animals all moving together, severe poaching over the last decade saw that number decimated and now only around 10% of the number remains. Since 2011 however there has been control over poaching and only 3 elephant have been poached in the last 2 years. The credit for that lies with these rangers and the new management of the park, including nomad groups who are a vital part of intelligence gathering for Zakouma. Photo by Brent Stirton, Getty Images for National Geographic
NZARA, SOUTH SUDAN: Michael Oryem, 29, is a recently defected Lord’s Resistance Army fighter who’s former L.R.A group is involved in the poaching of Ivory in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Garamba is a former base of operations for the LRA and a major source of financing for the notorious group. Oryem is seen with 2 of 6 ivory tusks that he hid and then led the Ugandan forces to inside the border region of the Central African Republic. He claims that the LRA killed many elephants in Garamba National Park in the DRC and that he was ordered by Joseph Kony, the LRA’s notorious leader, to bring the ivory to him in Darfur, South Sudan. Ivory is now a real means of financing for the LRA, it is used for both food and weapons supplies and is traded to the Sudanese Army who transports it north to Khartoum. Oryem was abducted by the group when he was 9 and lived with them for over 17 years in the wild. He was made a commander in the group at the age of 12. The LRA is infamous for the killing and abduction of thousands of civilians across multiple countries. He defected and is now a recent new member of the Ugandan Army, UPDF, African Union force hunting the LRA. Photo by Brent Stirton, Getty Images for National Geographic
MBOKI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, 25 NOVEMBER 2014: Ugandan soldiers cross one of many rivers while on patrol against the Lord’s Resistance Army close to the border of the DRC. The Ugandan contingent based in CAR are focused on the aprehension of the Lord’s Resistance Army, LRA, the notorious rebel group led by Joseph Kony which has terrorized citizens of Uganda, C.A.R, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the last 4 decades. Soldiers are seen crossing a river, a technique they have perfected with ropes despite the fact that many of the men cannot swim. The LRA contingent they are hunting is coming from Garamba National Park where they have been hunting ivory, a task ordered by Joseph Kony and detailed in a commander’s diary that this Ugandan contingent captured in an ambush earlier in 2014. Defectors say that Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA, is increasingly reliant on ivory as a means of trade for weapons and supplies from their hosts the Sudanese Army. Photo by Brent Stirton, Getty Images for National Geographic
LOME’, TOGO, 29 JANUARY 2014: Containers with 4 tons of illegal ivory confiscated in January 2014 by the Togolese customs office from its new deep water port, Lome,’ Togo. This ivory has been directly linked through DNA evidence to the elephant massacre that occured in Dzanga Bai, Central African Republic in 2013. That massacre was perpetrated by Seleka rebels who climbed the observation towers at the famous forest elephant gathering place in Dzanga Bai and gunned down the elephants with automatic weapons. The Seleka rebels would have used the proceeds from this ivory sale for some of the violence which has plagued C.A.R over much of 2013 and 2014. Togo has been viewed as a new opportunity by ivory smugglers with its new deep water port. Customs officers with new Container scanning technology have made the efforts of these smugglers more difficult. Photo by Brent Stirton, Getty Images for National Geographic
1st Prize – Tough times for Orangutans
A Bornean orangutan climbs over 30 meters up a tree in the rain forest of Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, Aug. 12, 2015.
Photo by Tim Laman
Batang Toru Population
Unidentified unflanged adult male making threatening display towards, Togus, the resident adult flanged male
Batang Toru Forest
Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Project
North Sumatran Province
Photo by Tim Laman
Unflanged male orangutan in a strip of remaining forest along the edge of the Mangkutup River, seen through the smoke of forest fires. Forest away from the river has burned.
Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii
Central Kalimantan Province, Indonesia
Island of Borneo
Photo by Tim Laman
“Rescue” of a five month old male baby orangutan from captivity in Sungai Besar village by the BKSDA (Department of Wildlife and Nature Conservation) staff and wildlife veteranarian Dr. Ayu from International Animal Rescue.
Photo by Tim Laman
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