The human thirst for progress means animals’ natural habitats are increasingly under threat. Francis Perez’s distressing image of a sea turtle entangled in fishnets perfectly captures this tension between nature and its artificial enemy and won First Prize in the World Press Nature Singles category.
Meanwhile, as the endangered species Red List increased by 16,118 last year alone, Brent Stirton’s documentation of rhino poaching in Africa serves as a painful reminder of man’s complicity. The series was awarded first prize in the Stories category.
"We have to recognize that the way we treat animals is a mark of our humanity," says Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin, the chair of this year's jury. "It’s as much about humanity as it is about nature. I respect hugely what Brent Stirton has tried to show."
Ami Vitale’s playful depiction of giant pandas in captivity took second place and Bence Máté’s starry portraits of nature’s majestic heavyweights took third place, both in the Stories category.
The winning photographs were selected from among 80,408 images submitted by 5,034 photographers from 125 different countries. In the end, 45 photographers from 25 countries made up the winning list. They will receive their awards at a ceremony in Amsterdam on April 22.