When art imitates life. Picture: Matthew Maran/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
When art imitates life. Picture: Matthew Maran/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

Stunning images come with dire warning

These stunning images might show nature in all its glory, but they come at the same time as a dire warning.

The snaps have been revealed as nominations for the Lumix People's Choice Awards, part of the British Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition.

Photographers are challenged to showcase wildlife photography as an art, while prompting viewers and themselves to consider our place in the natural world, and our responsibility to protect it.

The man-made straight lines of the ploughed furrows are interrupted beautifully by nature’s more unruly wild pattern of tree branches. Picture: Anna Henly/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
The man-made straight lines of the ploughed furrows are interrupted beautifully by nature’s more unruly wild pattern of tree branches. Picture: Anna Henly/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

People are now voting for which wondrous animal photo will lead the pack, as beloved broadcaster and natural historian Sir David Attenborough delivered an alarming message at the UN climate change summit.

"Right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale. Our greatest threat in thousands of years. Climate Change," Sir Attenborough warned.

"If we don't take action, the collapse of our civilisations and the extinction of much of the natural world is on the horizon."

Sir David Attenborough issued a dire warning at the UN climate change summit. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Sir David Attenborough issued a dire warning at the UN climate change summit. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Perhaps illustrating Sir Attenborough's concerns most vividly was a heart-wrenching image of a polar bear, contending with a dystopian-looking environment.

Low and thinning ice conditions left this polar bear struggling to find food. Picture: Justin Hofman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
Low and thinning ice conditions left this polar bear struggling to find food. Picture: Justin Hofman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

American Photographer Justin Hofman's "whole body pained" as he papped the arctic creature at an abandoned hunter's camp.

Poor ice conditions make it hard for the polar bear to hunt for food, and Hoffman said he watched as the starving animal slowly heaved itself off the ground.

Despite the grim scene, Spanish photographer Cristobal Serrano had a lively chance encounter with a seemingly surprised crabeater seal - a thriving protected species.

Talk about a surprise meeting. Picture: Cristobal Serrano/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
Talk about a surprise meeting. Picture: Cristobal Serrano/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

Mr Serrano said he didn't fear the menacing-looking ice-dweller, with its bulging eyes and sharp teeth.

"Seals are remarkably relaxed when it comes to humans and will often be more curious than anything else," Mr Serrano captioned the photo on Instagram.

An old lioness finally had a moment to strike after lying in wait to ambush a passing animals. Picture: Federico Veronesi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
An old lioness finally had a moment to strike after lying in wait to ambush a passing animals. Picture: Federico Veronesi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

 

High up in the trees, a great grey owl and her chicks looked rather surprised to be staring down the lens of Canadian photographer Connor Stefanison's camera.

Nesting atop a broken tree, you could almost be hypnotised by the clan staring intensely through their beady eyes.

These owls look thrilled to have their family portrait taken. Picture: Connor Stefanison/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
These owls look thrilled to have their family portrait taken. Picture: Connor Stefanison/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

And these playful African wild dog pups were playing tug of war with a toy you wouldn't find at your local pet store.

These playful African wild dog pups grown into merciless killers. Picture: Bence Mate/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
These playful African wild dog pups grown into merciless killers. Picture: Bence Mate/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

Hungarian snapper Bence Mate said as adults, the dogs native to sub-Saharan African are merciless killers, and this trio appear right on track to live up to his claim.

The cheeky pups were playing with the leg of an impala, and were trying to drag it in three different directions, according to Mr Mate.

 

Takeaway dinner for two for this duo of Steller’s sea eagles. Picture: Konstantin Shatenev/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
Takeaway dinner for two for this duo of Steller’s sea eagles. Picture: Konstantin Shatenev/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

Voting for the Lumix People's Choice Awards closes 1am AEDT, Wednesday February 6.

You can vote for your favourite photo here.

This baby gorilla clung to its mother while keeping a curious eye on the photographer. Picture: David Lloyd/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum
This baby gorilla clung to its mother while keeping a curious eye on the photographer. Picture: David Lloyd/Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Natural History Museum

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