In 2013 the BBC Wildlife Magazine Camera-trap Photo of the Year Competition, in association with World Land Trust and Enterprise Plants, attracted more than 850 entries. The Overall Winner, a picture taken in Turkey for a Wildlife Research Association project, was an image of a rare Roach's Mouse-tailed Dormouse. The photo wins the competition's top prize, a research grant of £3,000.
Overall Winner and Winner of New Discoveries Category
Roach’s Mouse-tailed Dormouse, Turkey
Halim Yalçın Diker writes: “Our camera-trap snapped this little rodent as it hopped off its nest tree – a wild pear in Edirne, north-west Turkey – on a nocturnal foray to hunt insects in nearby meadows. This species was historically found in Turkey and south-eastern Bulgaria but, as oak and walnut trees were cut down to make way for agriculture and forestry activities, its habitat is now restricted to just a few small spinneys. Ours were the first photos of the species taken in the wild.
“Our project – Yer Yediuyuru Yok Olmasın, undertaken for the Wildlife Research Association – researches the species’ ecology with the aim of protecting it from extinction.”
Judge Mark Carwardine says: “A tricky shot of a small, fast-moving and very rare subject that captures a perfect moment.”
Winner of Animal Behaviour Category
Snow Leopard, Qinghai, China
Juan Li writes: “The large rock at which we aimed our camera-trap, in Sanjiangyuan Nature Reserve, Qinghai Province, proved to be a popular spot. We detected this female snow leopard scent-marking, a typical method of communication, on various occasions over a number of days. The behaviour was repeated by several others, suggesting that the rock may be the point at which the home ranges of various individuals intersect.
“China encompasses the greatest expanse of this cat's habitat as well as the largest wild populations of the species. Our project, Ecology and Conservation Strategy of Snow Leopards in the Sanjiangyuan Region, aims to provide scientific backing and inform conservation strategies for snow leopard conservation in China.”
Judge Rosamund Kidman Cox says: “An intimate glimpse of scent marking ecstasy, set against a snow sprinkled backdrop, caught by a perfectly placed camera.
Winner of Animal Portraits Category
Amur Tiger, Russian Far East
Linda Kerley writes: “The beautiful male Amur tiger we call Misha is one of 35 individuals that we have photographed with camera-traps over the past six years. We’ve monitored Misha for a year now, capturing this shot on a bright March afternoon.
“Each tiger can be identified by its unique stripe patterns; we follow individuals for years, as long as they remain in our study area. Our project, a collaboration involving researchers from the Zoological Society of London and Lazovskii State Nature Reserve in Primorye, the Russia Far East, aims to improve understanding of the population structure, survival and reproduction of this Endangered
big cat, and aids anti-poaching efforts.”
Judge Dan Freeman says: “A stunning portrait of the world’s largest tiger, striding purposefully through its bleak home with the power and grace of a top predator.”
Winner of British Wildlife Category
Red Fox, near Epping
Jamie Hall writes: “At around 3am on a July morning my remote camera captured this image of a fox crossing a stream into another’s territory. A busy public footpath follows the stream; this route is popular with dog-walkers, so foxes generally don’t emerge till the early hours when it’s safest to be out and about. As my library of fox photos expands, and I spend time observing them, I learn more about how these versatile, resilient mammals are adapting to life in urban and semi-urban area.”
Judge Elliott Neep says: “We loved the great lighting and the forethought to elevate the camera and capture the fox’s reflection as it goes about its nocturnal activities.”