Many of us have never even seen a mole or a weasel, let alone been in a position to photograph one. However, this year the Mammal Society has set Britain’s talented amateur wildlife photographers the additional challenge of photographing some of the country’s most elusive mammals.
The wildlife conservation charity’s Information Officer Beth Smith explains “We wholeheartedly welcome photographs of all of Britain’s wild mammals, the more the merrier! This year though, we have added the new 'Elusive Mammals' category to also encourage photographers to look out for rarely photographed species such as bats, shrews, stoats and whales.”
Mammal Society Chair, Fiona Mathews adds “Most of Britain’s mammals are difficult to photograph at the best of time, not least because we know that their numbers are dwindling. Some are simply tricky to capture on film because they are nocturnal, live underwater or are simply too small or quick. However, the nation’s amateur photographers are a talented lot and we can’t wait to see what they come up with.”
The Mammal Photographer of the Year competition opened on Thursday 24 October during the wildlife charity’s annual National Mammal Week celebrations. Judging this year’s competition are: author, broadcaster and Mammal Society patron, Zeb Soanes; professional wildlife photographer, Brett Lewis; and Mammal Society Council member and wildcat specialist, Roo Campbell.
This year’s other categories are Mammals of Great Britain (first prize and runner up), Young Mammal Photographer of the Year (16-18 years and 15 years and under), Mammal Comedian of the Year and Mammal Society Member’s photograph.
Each year over 300 entries are received and prizes are presented at the opening of the Mammal Society Spring Conference, which in 2020 will be held at the University of Cambridge. Prizes will be presented by this year’s Cranbrook speaker, Professor of Conservation Science at Cambridge, Andrew Balmford. The closing date for entries is 1 February 2020. For full terms and conditions and details of how to enter go to www.mammal.org.uk/mpoy.
Prizes announced to date include: a bat photography masterclass; wildlife photography days courtesy of British Wildlife Centre and Westcountry Wildlife Photography Centre; a camera trap donated by NatureSpy; binoculars and a squirrel feeder donated by CJ Wildlife; a £100 voucher from CEWE photographic printing service; and, a £50 voucher and subscription to British Wildlife Magazine courtesy of NHBS.