My Digital Camera Special – Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009
Tom Schandy, Norway
Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Wildlife – Winner with ‘The Look of a Jaguar’
The subjects featured here are species officially listed as critically endangered, vulnerable or at risk, and the purpose of the award is to highlight, through photographic excellence, the plight of wildlife under threat. In a small, protected area of swamp-forest in the western area of the Pantanal wetland, in Mato Grosso, Brazil, jaguars still roam free from human harassment. They’re notoriously difficult to see, and pawprints are as lucky as most people get. Along the riverbanks, though, it’s possible to spot them. When Tom took a boat down the Rio Paraguay, he saw four jaguars in three days. This male had picked a slightly concealed spot where he could watch for prey such as capybara. Tom observed him for an hour. ‘He was totally calm, even though he was aware of us.’ At sunset, the jaguar rose, yawned and scent-marked. Then he faded back into the dense forest.
Canon EOS 1D Mark III, 500mm f/4 lens; 1/250 sec at f/4, ISO 400; beanbag
András Mészáros, Hungary
Animal Behaviour: All Other Animals – Winner with ‘Raindrop Refresher’
‘The beauty of macro-photography,’ says András, ‘is the worlds it reveals – all the activity going on in miniature that you otherwise would never see.’