The Nature Conservancy, a global conservation organization, received over 57,000 entries from 135 countries for their annual nature photography contest this year – the most they’ve ever received.

“We have wonderful entries from all over the world, from beautiful Western landscapes to squirrels in a backyard in Austria,” Bill Marr, director of photography for The Nature Conservancy and a judge in the competition, said in a statement. “Photography is a common language for all.”

Here are the winning photos across the categories of People and Nature, Landscape, Water, Wildlife, and Cities and Nature, as well as the grand prize winner.


“O Caçador (The Hunter)” by Roberto Moccini Formiga

Foto: Mexico.sourceRoberto Moccini Formiga/The Nature Conservancy

“A large white shark hunts in the waters of Guadalupe Island, Mexico.”

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“Polar Bear” by Florian Ledoux

Foto: Canada.sourceFlorian Ledoux/The Nature Conservancy

“The polar bear wandering on ice looking at the ice melting.”


“Slender Slots” by Tanner Latham

Foto: Utah.sourceTanner Latham/The Nature Conservancy

“Squeezing through one of the incredibly narrow slot canyons in Escalante National Monument. Taken on a week-long expedition through the deserts of southern Utah.”


“Her Majesty” by Aristo Risi

Foto: Australia.sourceAristo Risi/The Nature Conservancy

“A plastic bag in its natural habitat, the ocean. Plastic was once worshiped, now it destroys everything we love. Nature connects us all, we have a duty to protect her.”


“Namibian Curves” by Paul Zizka

Foto: Namibia.sourcePaul Zizka/The Nature Conservancy

“We were on our Chronicles of Namibia workshop, wrapping up a wonderful evening of shooting in the Sossusvlei area. On the drive back to camp, this most simple composition caught my eye. I couldn’t resist and stopped the group to get this shot.”


“Energía Pura y Fuego (Pure Energy and Fire)” by Hernando Alonso Rivera Cervantes

Foto: Mexico.sourceHernando Alonso Rivera Cervantes/The Nature Conservancy

“Colima volcano erupting during the night showing its strength. Volcanic eruptions in small quantities help reduce global warming.”


Second place: “The End is Near” by Andre Mercier

Foto: Iceland.sourceAndre Mercier/The Nature Conservancy

This ice could be thousands of years old, and only recently broke off the Vatnajokull Glacier at Jokulsarlon Bay in Iceland, and will soon melt into the sea.”


“Watching You Watching Me” by Megan Lorenz

Foto: Canada.sourceMegan Lorenz/The Nature Conservancy

“Red Fox in Bonavista in Newfoundland.”


“Waterfall Wonders” by Harry Randell

Foto: Zimbabwe.sourceHarry Randell/The Nature Conservancy

“Victoria Falls is the seventh wonder of the world. Carved into the border between Zimbabwe and Zambia, what better place for two nationalities to meet, and be awed by the never ending thunder of the water 100 meters below.”


“Serenity” by Jeremy Stevens

Foto: Iceland.sourceJeremy Stevens/The Nature Conservancy

“Aldeyjarfoss Waterfall in Iceland, January 2018. The places that are hardest to get to are often the best and most peaceful.”


“Reclamation” by Jesse Yang

Foto: United Arab Emirates.sourceJesse Yang/The Nature Conservancy

“The eeriness of exploring this ghost town in the United Arab Emirates went away after an hour or so of exploring. But I still felt uneasy about entering some of these ‘homes.’ It felt like I was trespassing, so I tried being oddly respectful. The Arabian Desert obviously didn’t feel the same way, reminding me that nature will always reclaim what we abandon.”


“Welcome to my Humble Abode” by Duncan Mcnaught

Foto: Scotland.sourceDuncan Mcnaught/The Nature Conservancy

“A tiny fungi knat sheltering inside the canopy of a toadstool.”


“Lava Explosion” by Elyse Butler

Foto: Hawaii.sourceElyse Butler/The Nature Conservancy

“On the Kīlauea Lava Flow in Kalapana, lava hits the ocean, creating an explosion of molten basalt rocks and acidic steam plumes skyward. When hot lava vaporizes cool sea water, it blasts lava rock fragments every direction and creates a billowing cloud of ‘lava haze’ made up of a mixture of acidic seawater steam, hydrochloric acid, and tiny shards of volcanic glass.”


“La Pacha Mama” by Ruben Dario Mejia

Foto: Colombia.sourceRuben Dario Mejia/The Nature Conservancy

“A model holding the ribs of a dry leaf. Nature is a generous Mother.”


“Autumn in the Big Apple” by Yonca Ables

Foto: New York City.sourceYonca Ables/The Nature Conservancy

“World Trade Center, New York.”


“My Home My City” by Kwok Kui Andus Tse

Foto: Hong Kong.sourceKwok Kui Andus Tse/The Nature Conservancy

“Lion Rock is a symbol of Hong Kong. Many Hong Kong people, including me, grow up under the mountain. It represents the spirit of Hong Kong people.”


“Floating in the Dead Sea” by Aline Fortuna

Foto: Israel.sourceAline Fortuna/The Nature Conservancy

“One of the most unique experiences of the world in the lowest point on Earth. We belong to nature and not the reverse. Without the nature we do not live, but without us it lives.”


“Vama Veche Sunrise” by George Bufan

Foto: Romania.sourceGeorge Bufan/The Nature Conservancy

“Sunrise in Vama Veche, Romania.”


“Reunião de Jacarés (Meeting of Alligators)” by Jorge André Diehl

Foto: Brazil.sourceJorge André Diehl/The Nature Conservancy

“Lagoon with many alligators in the Northern Pantanal, Poconé region. Late afternoon left the scene a bluish color.”


Third place: “Frog Hug” by Terra Fondriest

Foto: Arkansas.sourceTerra Fondriest/The Nature Conservancy

“Down at the mud puddles on our road, we found several young bullfrogs hopping around. Up on our hilltop, wet spots are few and far between, so our mud puddles are home to a constant flow of tadpoles, frogs and toads. My daughter loves all critters, her goal is to create a wildlife rehab center someday. She constantly inspires me with her care towards every living thing.”


Grand prize winner: “Stallions Playing” by Camille Briottet

Foto: Camargue, France.sourceCamille Briottet/The Nature Conservancy

“The power of the animal kingdom.”