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World Nature Photography Awards announced the winning images celebrating the best nature photographers, as they highlight the wonders of our planet. Thomas Vijayan, from Canada, won World Nature Photographer of the Year for his image ‘The world is going upside down.’ As we've watched COVID-19 lockdowns temporarily clear up of our skies and waters, there seems no more better time to honour these award winning photographs.

The winning image for World Nature Photographer of the Year shot in Borneo is from Canadian photographer Thomas Vijayan. "I had this frame in my mind so, to get this shot, I firstly selected a tree that was in the water so that I could get a good reflection of the sky which makes the image look upside down. Then, I climbed up the tree and waited for hours. This is a regular path for the orangutans to cross to another small island, so I felt I was sure to get this frame if I wait patiently. It was a tough task but the end result paid off. Borneo is a photographer's paradise. I really enjoyed shooting in such an untouched part of the world."

Thomas Vijayan/World Nature Photography Awards

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Vittorio Ricci photo won gold in the " Behaviour - Amphibians and reptiles" category. Two European common brown frogs during Spring mating season, Aveto, Italy.

Vittorio Ricci/World Nature Photography Awards

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Gunther De Bruyne image won in the category for "Nature photojournalism". A white Rhino is dehorned to prevent being killed by poachers. It's a highly effective strategy as well as a conservation measure of last resort. All rhino species are, or have been, on the brink of extinction due to the popularity of their horn in Asia. But to clarify: rhino horn is composed of keratin, the very same substance that forms our fingernails. Nowadays, even in Asia, it's widely known that rhino horn has no medicinal value or any other beneficial effect. However, the fewer rhinos there are, the higher the price of their horns, which unfortunately has made rhino horn consumption a status symbol."

Gunther De Bruyne/World Nature Photography Awards

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In the category "Behaviour - Mammals" Raymond Nowotny won gold. "An interloper approaches a watering hole in the Serengeti that was already claimed by a small pride of lions. As the lioness came close, the pride attacked her in order to drive her away."

Raymond Nowotny/World Nature Photography Awards

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Category "Planet Earth's landscapes and environments" winning image by Alessandro Gruzza. "The first cold days of winter have frozen the surface of a pond. The first snowfall has revealed its delicate beauty. A long shutter speed enhances the movement of the clouds in the sky around Mount Cimon de la Pala, in the Pale San Martino Range. Location: Mount Cavallazza, Paneveggio-Pale San Martino Natural Park, Italy."

Alessandro Gruzza/World Nature Photography Awards

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Dr Tze Siong Tan won in the category "Behaviour - Invertebrates". "Dragonfly and damselfly sex is a very conspicuous event, easily recognised by the heart-shaped "wheel" formation of mating pairs. I was lucky to encounter several pairs during a morning walk at Gardens by the Bay,Singapore. I approached quietly to avoid scaring the pair away; and positioned my equipment carefully to get both damselflies in the same plane."

Dr Tze Siong Tan/World Nature Photography Awards

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Winning image in the category "Animal Portraits" is by Nick Dale, United Kingdom. A Bengal tigress with a catchlight in her eye lies up to her neck in the dark shadows of a water hole. Her name is Maya 'The Enchantress', and she has orange and black stripes with white patches on her head.

Nick Dale/World Nature Photography Awards

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Photographer Dale Paul, Canada, won gold in the category "Behaviour - Birds". "This Great Horned Owl has just jumped from its perch in the trees to begin flight. She has thrust her wings forward to gain momentum. As the wings connect in front of her it appears as though she has formed a perfect flying saucer. The image was taken near High River, Alberta."

Dale Paul/World Nature Photography Awards

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In the category for "Plants and fungi" winning image by Doron Talmi. "South Eastern USA has numerous swamps, lakes and bayous where thousands of large "bald cypress" trees are growing in the water. The beautiful sights are further enhanced during the November fall foliage by amazing lights and reflections. The image was captured handheld, from a kayak at a misty dawn in a lake in East Texas."

Doron Talmi/World Nature Photography Awards

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Christa Funk's winning image in the category "People and nature". "Andre Fajardo and I went to dive early one morning. Sometimes you'll see a ton of life in this area and other times you won't. This particular day we came upon a few bait balls and the fish let us swim around them. The photo was taken in the Pacific Ocean."

Christa Funk/World Nature Photography Awards

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