Why Did the Sloth Cross the Road? To Pose For This Year's ‘Capturing Ecology’ Photo Contest

By George Dvorsky on at

The British Ecological Society has announced the winners of its annual ecology-themed photo competition. From boas, birds, and birches, through to a three-toed sloth trying to cross the road, this year’s crop is a wondrous celebration of our planet’s remarkable diversity.

Hundreds of ecologists and students from around the world submitted their photos for this year’s BES contest, of which only 15 were chosen as winners. The judging panel included six ecologists and award-winning wildlife photographers who selected photos that best conveyed our planet’s diverse ecology, whether animal or plant.

The overall winner shows a Malagasy tree boa perched in a tree, in a photo taken by Roberto García Roa. Other winners included a stunning birch forest, a glowing scorpion, and a Southern rhino having its horn trimmed to dissuade poaching.

Red night: A Malagasy tree boa perches in a tree. Image: Roberto García Roa/British Ecological Society
Are you seeing the same as me?: A cow and a chimango hanging out at the Beagle Channel in the southernmost mountains of the Andes. Image: Pablo Javier Merlo/British Ecological Society
Autumn texture: A birch forest in autumn. Image: Mikhail Kapychka/British Ecological Society
Scientists preparing drones to capture the bigger picture of how climate change is altering northern ecosystems. Image: Gergana Daskalova.
A small scorpion in Madagascar glows under UV light. Image: Roberto García Roa/British Ecological Society
Flames in flumes: A plumbeous water redstart waits by the cascades to catch a mayfly or stonefly for a meal. Image: Nilanjan Chatterjee/British Ecological Society
For the love of Flamingos: A flock of flamingos fly high over Lake Magadi in a heart shape. Image: Peter Hudson/British Ecological Society
The Rhino’s Annual Haircut: A rhino gets its horn trimmed once a year to protect it from poaching. Image: Molly Penny/British Ecological Society
A harlequin frog in the shade of the leaves of the Chocó understory in Colombia. Image: Khristian V. Valencia/British Ecological Society
Sleeping still: Leafcutter bee offspring in nests made from ovate leaf cuttings thoroughly arranged in multiple buffering layers by their mother bees. Image: Felix Fornoff/British Ecological Society
A small spider found in Malaysia captures a comparatively huge ant. Image: Roberto García Roa/British Ecological Society
Thawing away: A human silhouette is seen above a retrogressive thaw slump on Qikiqtaruk-Herschel Island in Canada. Changes to these slumps can affect the entire ecosystem. Image: Gergana Daskalova/British Ecological Society
A tiny mushroom growing inside a rotten tree trunk. Microclimatic conditions inside the trunk caused condensation to form. Image: Sanne Govaert/British Ecological Society
A cloudy snake spotting prey. Image: Khristian V. Valencia

The winning images will go on display in Belfast next month, in a BES conference that will bring together 1,200 international ecologists to discuss their research.

Featured image: Andrew Whitworth/British Ecological Society