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This dramatic picture was won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 prize (Picture: Yongqing Bao/PA)

An intense ‘battle for survival’ moment between a Tibetan fox and a marmot has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

The winning action shot, titled The Moment, which captures a dramatic stand-off between predator and prey in a high alpine meadow, was taken by Yongqing Bao, a native Tibetan from the Chinese province of Qinghai. The wildlife photographer and ecologist beat more than 48,000 entries from 100 countries to scoop top prize in the prestigious international competition run by the Natural History Museum.

Chairwoman of the judging panel Roz Kidman Cox said the shot of the fox and marmot taken on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau was photographically ‘the perfect moment’.

‘The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance. Images from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are rare enough, but to have captured such a powerful interaction between a Tibetan fox and a marmot – two species key to the ecology of this high-grassland region – is extraordinary.’

This picture, entitled Land of the eagle, was captured by Audun Rikardsen and won the Behaviour: Birds category of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition (Audun Rikardsen/PA)

Natural History Museum director Sir Michael Dixon said: ‘This compelling picture captures nature’s ultimate challenge – its battle for survival. The area in which this was taken, often referred to as the ‘third pole’ because of the enormous water reserves held by its ice fields, is under threat from dramatic temperature rises like those seen in the Arctic.’

A collection of the best photographs will go on display at London’s Natural History Museum, before touring the UK and internationally.





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