PHOTOS: Here are the winners of the 2018 British Ecological Society photo contest

PHOTOS: Here are the winners of the 2018 British Ecological Society photo contest

A king penguin standing out starkly from the crowd took the top prize in the British Ecological Society’s “Capturing Ecology” photo competition this year. Chris Oosthuizen of South Africa’s University of Pretoria snapped the winning image of a single colorful adult king penguin amidst a crowd of brown-colored chicks on Marion Island, part of the Prince Edward Islands in the Indian Ocean. The photo was taken while Oosthuizen spent a year on the remote, sub-Antarctic island researching seals and killer whales. “Some images have the power to say much more than words, and Chris’s image, which showcases the remarkable colony life of an iconic bird species, raises awareness of their uncertain future due to climate change,” Richard Bardgett, President of the British Ecological Society, said in a statement. Oosthuizen, for his part, also seemed hopeful that the prize-winning photo might help draw attention to the challenges king penguins face due to the impacts of human activities. “Although the global population of king penguins is large, populations inhabiting islands around the Antarctic face an uncertain future,” he said. “Global climate change may shift the oceanic fronts where they feed further away from breeding sites, forcing penguins to travel farther to reach their foraging grounds.” Adrià López Baucells, a PhD student at Portugal’s University of Lisbon, was the overall student winner of this year’s Capturing Ecology contest. López Baucells and his colleague Oriol Massana used a motion sensor and four synchronized flashes to capture a fringe-lipped bat in mid-flight as it preys…

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