Wildlife Photographer of the Year – held in partnership with the Natural History Museum in London – is known as the world's best nature photography competition, famed for showcasing the beauty, fascination and fragility of the natural world.
This year's contest, which is in its 57th year, was the most competitive yet, attracting over 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs across 95 countries.
Below is a selection of Highly Commended photographs, while the overall winners will be announced in a virtual awards ceremony, streamed from the Natural History Museum on the evening of 12 October.
The images have been revealed ahead of the first phase of the global UN conference of COP15 on biodiversity, and serve as a reminder of the importance of the variety and variability of life on Earth in securing the future of our planet.
"These extraordinary images showcase the rich diversity of life on Earth and spark curiosity and wonder," says Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum. "Telling the story of a planet under pressure, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition illuminates the urgent challenges we face and the collective action we need to take."
If you want to see the winning images up-close, the flagship exhibition at the Natural History Museum opens on Friday 15 October 2021, and booking is highly recommended to ensure a ticket at busy periods.
After this exhibition ends on 5 June 2022, the 100 images will be toured both around the UK and internationally, to hopefully bring the power of wildlife photography to millions more eyes.
Next year's annual competition opens for entries on 18 October and closes on 9 December 2021. Photographers of all ages, nationalities and levels are welcome.
Find out more and book tickets at: