Art and Science

Capturing Ecology photo contest highlights threats from changing environments

Capturing Ecology 2022 winners show animals in a changing world.

Andreas Eich/British Ecological Society

Every year, the British Ecological Society highlights the intersection of science and art with its Capturing Ecology photo competition.

This year’s winners

showcase animals in their natural habitats, and their often fraught interactions with humans and other species.

Here are the winners of the 2022 Capturing Ecology competition

Mathew Rees/British Ecological Society

9. People and Nature Winner: A New Plastic Home

Andreas Eich/British Ecological Society

A hermit crab in Indonesia is seen here with a bottle cap for a shell. Plastic is a major source of terrestrial and marine pollution worldwide, comprising more than three-fourths of the pollution in Jakarta’s rivers.

Andreas Eich/British Ecological Society

8. Up Close and Personal Winner: Wild Pearls

Javier Lobon-Rovira/ British Ecological Society

The critically endangered Gold-striped salamander is seen here among its pearl-like eggs. The salamanders, found only on the Iberian Peninsula, live near freshwater streams, making them vulnerable to ecosystem changes.

Javier Lobon-Rovira/ British Ecological Society

7. Individuals and Populations Winner: Night Guardian

Javier Lobon-Rovira/British Ecological Society

Javier Lobon-Rovira/British Ecological Society

The smooth-helmeted iguana seen here is an opportunistic feeder, known to sit still and wait for prey for extremely long periods of time. They move so little, fungi and at least one plant have been found growing on them.

6. Dynamic Ecosystems Winner: Invasive battle — fire fierce

Javier Lobon-Rovira/British Ecological Society

This image shows the aftermath of a battle between fire ants and a house gecko in Florida. Both species are invasive in the U.S., disrupting local ecosystems by preying on native animals.

Javier Lobon-Rovira/British Ecological Society

5. The Art of Ecology Winner: Bubble Bath

Alwin Hardenbol/British Ecological Society

Captured in the early morning light, this image shows a Horned grebe near Tampere, Finland. The bird’s “horns” are visible in silhouette — these tufts of feathers are what gives the Horned grebe its name.

Alwin Hardenbol/British Ecological Society

4. Ecology in Action Winner: Bruma

Roberto Garcia Roa/British Ecological Society

A Bonelli’s eagle named Bruma lies dead, after previously being tagged with a GPS tracker by researchers from the University of Valencia. In the background, you can see the powerlines that electrocuted Bruma.

Roberto Garcia Roa/British Ecological Society

3. Overall Student Winner: Takeout

Sam Eberhard/ British Ecological Society

This photo shows a common murre being carried away by a bald eagle in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Bald eagle populations have flourished in the Pacific Northwest in recent years, driving murres to hide their nests under vegetation, rather than on the rocky cliffs where they typically build them.

Sam Eberhard/ British Ecological Society

2. Overall Runner Up: Leopard Surprise!

Peter Hudson/ British Ecological Society

Photographer Peter Hudson says it took this leopard four attempts to catch a Steenbok, who rely on speed and stealth to evade predators, sometimes hiding in aardvark burrows. Leopards are nocturnal hunters, but this one was forced into a daylight hunt to feed its cubs.

Peter Hudson/ British Ecological Society

1. Overall Winner: A light in the shadows

Roberto Garcia Roa/ British Ecological Society

A Helena’s treefrog peers out form the darkness in Peru’s Tambopata province. Gold mining currently threatens the region’s natural environment, making the golden eyes of the frog glowing in the dark a poignant sight.

Roberto Garcia Roa/ British Ecological Society

The full Capturing Ecology exhibition, including student winners and runners-up for each category, is available on the British Ecological Society website.

Emma Weschke/British Ecological Society