A Look At This Year's Most Stunning Wildlife Photos
'The Golden Couple'
Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten was named the overall winner of the competition for his portrait of two endangered golden snub-nosed monkeys.
The Dutchman captured the image after following the troop through China's Qin Ling Mountains for days, learning the animals' dynamics and behaviours.
The result was this, a portrait of a male and smaller female resting in the forest.
A subspecies of golden snub-nosed monkey, these animals live only in this region. Now with fewer than 4,000 individuals left, the species is at risk of disappearing.
Image: Marsel van Oosten/AAP
Though Mathoja-- the leopard captured by Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner Skye Meaker-- is one of a notoriously shy and elusive species, we can only imagine she would be pleased with her portrait.
The 16-year-old South African photographer tracked Mathoja for several hours through Botswana's Mashatu Game Reserve before capturing this moment.
A well known animal by local guides in the reserve, Mathoja's name means "the one that walks with a limp" in Bantu language. It was given to her after a serious leg injury as a cub.
Image: Skye Meaker/AAP
Arshdeep Singh took out the 10 years and under category with this perfectly timed snap of spotted owlets in the Indian city of Kapurthala.
Singh spotted the birds while driving with his father through the city -- a rare sighting of a nocturnal species.
Though they usually nest in tree hollows, widespread deforestation of the Punjab region where they are found has lead to couples, like this one, to use urban nesting sites.
Image: Arshdeep Singh/AAP
Though she was there to photograph birds, Australian photographer Georgina Steytler became distracted by some busy wasps near a waterhole in Western Australia's Walyormouring Nature Reserve.
Her image of wasps working hard to prepare their nests took out the invertebrates category of the behaviour award.
Lying in the mud, Steytler snapped the wasps rolling the soft mud into balls with which they will build nests for females to lay eggs in.
After building their nests, the wasps will insert the paralysed bodies of orb-weaving spiders as food their unborn larvae.
Steytler's close encounter suddenly seems more impressive, doesn't it?
Image: Georgina Steytler/AAP
Things weren't looking great for a water snake in Tennessee's Tellico River, as it struggled in between the jaws of a giant hellbender salamander.
But as this year's winner in the amphibians and reptiles category David Herasimtschuk recounts, the snake managed to push free as its attacker let go to reposition its bite.
A solitary animal which breathes through its skin, Hellbenders are Northern America's largest salamanders and among the most endangered.
Image: David Herasimtschuk/AAP
'The Sad Clown'
From stunning to shocking, Spanish photographer Joan de la Malla won the wildlife photojournalism award with this image of Timbul -- a long-tailed macaque forced to wear a clown mask in the streets of Java, Indonesia.
The monkey is trying to use his hand to relieve the discomfort of the mask on its face, while being trained to stand upright for a street show.
Living in awful conditions and deprived of social relationships, monkeys like Timbul are a fairly common sight in Indonesia.
After spending a long time gaining the trust of this monkey's owner, Malla said most owners are trying to earn money to send their children to school.
Image: Joan de la Malla/AAP
'Kuhirwa Mourns Her Baby'
Kuhirwa, a female member of the Nkuringo mountain gorilla family in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, refused to give up on her dead baby.
Guides told photographer Ricardo Núñez Montero she had given birth in bad weather and the baby had most likely died of cold, after which Kuhirwa cuddled and groomed the corpse, even piggybacking it like other mothers.
Weeks later, she began to eat what was left of the body, a behaviour guides said they had only seen once before.
Montero won the Mammals category for the image illustrating behaviour which can be interpreted as a mother mourning the loss of her child.
Image: Ricardo Núñez Montero/AAP
'Bed Of Seals'
Spanish photographer Cristobal Serrano captured this group of crabeater seals using a drone in the Errera Channel of the Antarctic Peninsula.
The image won the award for the Animals in their Environment category.
Seals are dependant on ice, using it to rest, breed and feed on the krill which shelter underneath. Declining levels of sea ice is therefore leaving these animals with nowhere to rest out of the water and threatening their food supply.
And don't worry-- the red splatter to the top right is excrement, not blood.
Image: Cristobal Serrano/AAP
Photographer Michael Patrick O'Neill won the Underwater category with this image of the fast-moving flying fish at night, when they swim more slowly just below the surface.
During the day, flying fish are nearly impossible to get near, moving quick enough to soar up and out of the water so as to avoid being preyed upon.
Far off Florida's Palm Beach, O'Neill used various shutter and flash settings to create a sense of movement in his image.
Image: Michael Patrick O'Neill/AAP
The winners of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year award have been announced at the Natural History Museum in London.
The winning images were selected by an international jury, chosen for their artistic composition, technical innovation and truthful interpretation of the natural world.