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Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

‘A tale of two foxes’ ‘A tale of two foxes’ Don Gutoski
14 Oct
2015
This year’s top prize goes to ‘A tale of two foxes’ – a savage and haunting image of the fight to survive in harsh Arctic conditions

‘The Churchill guides had heard that the two species will occasionally fight, but no one we talked to had ever seen this behaviour,’ says Don Gutoski, Canadian amateur photographer, and Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 winner with this image from remote Cape Churchill, Wapusk National Park, Canada.

‘I first noticed the red fox hunting and interacting with some prey and, on closer approach, realised that prey was a white Arctic fox. By the time I got close enough to capture the event, the fight was over and the victor was feeding. I took a number of pictures, until the red fox had eaten its fill, and picked up the remains to find a hiding spot for a later meal.’

As it did so, Gutoski captured the winning image – out of 42,000 entries – a snapshot of some significantly unusual behaviour. Red foxes don’t actively hunt Arctic foxes, but conflict can arise when the ranges of two predators overlap, as it did in this case, an indicator of how environmental change has led to the encroachment of red foxes on Arctic fox territory.

Gutoski used a Canon EOS-1D X, with a 200-400mm f4 lens, plus a 1.4x extender at 784mm; 1/1000 sec at f8; ISO 640 to take the image.

Ondrej-Pelanek-11-14-YearsRuffs on Display by Ondřej Pelánek, winner in the 11 to 14 Years category

Michael-AW-UnderwaterA Whale of a Mouthful by Michael AW, winner in the Under Water category

Britta-Jaschinski-Photojournalism-Single-ImageBroken Cats by Britta Jaschinski, winner in the Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image category

Edwin-Giesbers-Amphibians-and-ReptilesStill Life by Edwin Giesbers, winner in the Amphibians and Reptiles category

Jonathan-Jagot-15-17-YearsFlight of the Scarlet Ibis by Jonathan Jagot, winner in the 15 to 17 Years category

Pere-Soler-From-the-AirThe Art of Algae by Pere Soler, winner in the From the Sky category

Richard-Peters-UrbanShadow Walker by Richard Peters, winner in the Urban category

Amir-Ben-Dov-BirdsThe Company of Three by Amir Ben-Dov, winner in the Birds category

Juan-Tapia-ImpressionsLife Comes to Art by Juan Tapia, winner in the Impressions category

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 exhibition is at the Natural History Museum, London, and runs until 10 April 2016. Adults £13.50, child and concessions £6.75, members and patrons of the NHM go free. For more information, visit nhm.ac.uk.

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