Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012 gallery
Marvel at some of the fantastic photos competing for this year's prize
Photogenic plants, fascinating animals and dramatic landscapes are all ready for their close-ups in this annual photography competition and exhibition. A key component of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year show are the stories which accompany the photos, describing the often remarkable conditions under which each photographer captured their winning shot.
Marvel at our favourite ten photos from this year's competition. We think the winner is definitely amongst these stunning snaps but what do you think? Tell us which photo is your favourite in the comment box below.
‘It's sobering to think how many sharks had been killed'
The end of sharks by Paul Hilton
Workers at Dong Gang Fish Market in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, routinely process thousands of frozen shark fins a day to service the growing international demand for shark-fin soup. The statistics are grim: up to 100 million sharks are killed each year, 73 million for their fins to service this demand, taking one in three shark species to the brink of extinction. Says Paul, ‘It was sobering to think how many sharks had been killed to produce this pile of fins for a soup that isn’t even healthy’ (the fins contain high levels of methylmercury).