MPOY 2024 Winners

Filed in Charities, Events on Apr.05, 2024

The winners of the MPOY 2024 competition, Mammal Connections have now been announced. The standard was absolutely brilliant in all the categories.

1st place:The Squirrel and the Bee by Gary Watson, taken near Elgin, Scotland.

“Two different worlds in one interaction are captured beautifully here. The look of wonder and curiosity from the squirrel looking at the bee tells such a wonderful story” – said judge and wildlife photographer Craig Jones.

2nd place: Stoat Kits Playing by Gordon Roach, taken in their garden in the Cairngorms National Park, Scotland.

3rd place: Putting your Foot Down by Jon Kelf, taken in their shed in Norfolk.

1st place Young MPOY: Two for Joy by Beau Healy, taken in Richmond Park, London.

People’s Choice: Winter Wonderland by Alice White, taken in their local lane in Ryedale, North Yorkshire.

To see all the winning and commended images click here.

Thank you to the Mammal Society for inviting me to be one of the judges on this wonderful competition. Also a massive thank you on the very strong ethical stance you took on entires to this competition. I have listed them below so people can read them.

Wildlife photography has the power to inspire others to protect wildlife and make positive changes to the environment, but unethical practices can cause harm

Wildlife comes before photography. Do not destroy or alter habitat in pursuit of a photo – including traveling to and from a site 

Do not disturb or distract wildlife to get its attention or to encourage certain behaviour. You could prevent an animal from foraging, hunting or taking cover. Avoid flash photography or the intrusive / dangerous use of drones. Do not set traps for the purposes of photography. 

Do your research. Don’t go into a habitat or approach wildlife without sufficient knowledge of how to act sensitively and responsibly.
– Be aware of special reasons for caution or care – eg breeding season
– Know the signs of stress in your subject species
– Check for any plant/tree/animal diseases that you must be careful not to spread.
– Consider any legal protections that apply to species you are photographing (eg dormice / bats) 

Follow ethical guidelines if putting food out for animals. Consider their health and the way you may influence their natural and safe behaviour. No live bait. 

Avoid supporting unethical practice. Photos of animals in captivity are not applicable for MPOTY, but consider also if a photo tour or ‘staged’ photo opportunity is ethical and sustainable. 

Caption accurately and honestly. Misleading information about the circumstances of a photo can lead to misinformation about the behaviour or location of a species, or lead to inappropriate practice by other photographers seeking to learn from your technique. Likewise, the use of digital manipulation to present a false impression of wildlife location or behaviour is unacceptable. 

Consider what you share. Some species may be the target of persecution, harassment or illegal hunting, and revealing the precise location could put them at risk. Avoid giving away precise locations in the caption or photograph where doing so could put wildlife at risk. 

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