Winners of Nature – Singles | World Press Photo 2020


A photojournalistic photograph’s intent is to inform and educate, and eventually, fuel the commencement of necessary reparations. Since 1955, the World Press Photo Awards has been an instrumental force in this arena, by bringing harrowing stories of terror, as well as those of hope and resilience. These stories scream vociferously of the world’s apathy against its citizens, that we need to do better. The foundation has announced the winners of the contest on its online channels on the 16th of April. Here is a look at the photographs from the 63rd edition of the awards.

First prize: Alain Schroeder, Belgium

The body of a month-old orangutan lies on a rescue team’s surgical drape, near the town of Subulussalam, Sumatra, Indonesia. She died soon after being found with her injured mother on a palm oil plantation, on 10 March 2019. Photograph/Alain Schroeder

Alain Schroeder is a photojournalist. In 1989, he founded Reporters, a photo agency, Belgium. Image credit: Inès Koh

Final Farewell: Orangutans live on just two islands in the world, Sumatra and Borneo, and are being forced out of their natural rainforest habitat as palm oil plantations, logging and mining proliferate. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there are only around 14,000 Sumatran orangutans left. As female orangutans dedicate eight to nine years raising each child before having another, populations are easily at risk of decline. The baby orangutan’s mother, named Hope by rescue workers, was found totally blind, with a broken clavicle and 74 air-gun wounds. She had been shot at by villagers after eating fruit from their orchards.

Second prize: Alejandro Prieto, Mexico

A greater roadrunner approaches the border wall at Naco, Arizona, United States, on 28 April 2019. Photograph/Alejandro Prieto

Alejandro Prieto is a  wildlife and underwater photographer from Mexico. Image credit: Dulce Lazos

Roadrunner Approaching the Border Wall: The wall along the US border with Mexico, championed by US president Donald Trump, will run through one of the most biologically rich and diverse regions of North America, disrupting animal corridors, their habitats and access to water and food. More than 1,000 km of the 3,100 km-long  border is closed by such barricades, with the president proposing a further 800 km by early 2021. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has warned that the impermeable barrier, associated human activity, and all-night bright lights could negatively impact 23 endangered and at-risk species.

Third prize: Antonio Pizarro Rodriguez, Spain, Diario De Sevilla

Two Iberian lynx take fright after hearing shots from a hunter’s gun, near Aznalcázar, Spain, on 3 January 2019. Photograph/Antonio Pizarro Rodriguez

Antonio Pizarro Rodriguez, born in Seville, Spain in 1973, is a self-taught photographer who began working as a reporter for Diario 16.  Image credit: Hugo Pizarro

The King of Doñana: The Iberian lynx, found in parts of Spain and Portugal, is the world’s most endangered feline species, according to the World Wildlife Fund. The species has been brought to the brink of extinction by a number of factors, including the fragmentation of its forest habitat and subsequent genetic isolation, being poached for its fur, and a decreasing food base. Rabbits, their staple diet, have been almost eliminated from the area by rabbit hemorrhagic disease. A lynx population of some 5,000 in the early 1960s has been reduced to a few hundred, but recent surveys by the World Wildlife Fund indicate that numbers are slowly on the rise following conservation efforts.

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