Our 2015 winner comes from Lower Kachura lake a popular tourist destination in Central Karakoram National Park, Skardu, Pakistan. Wiki Loves Earth 2015 winning picture. By Zaeemsiddiq, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Wiki Loves Earth, a competition where participants take photographs of protected natural areas and upload their photos to Wikimedia Commons, was held internationally for the second time in 2015 with 26 countries. The contest is over, and we are now able to present the international winners.
The goal of Wiki Loves Earth is two-fold. First, we aim to photograph as many natural monuments and protected areas as possible and release the imagery under a free license. Second, we contribute to environmental protection by raising public awareness.
The idea of Wiki Loves Earth began in Ukraine in 2013. In 2014, Wiki Loves Earth was joined by 15 other countries from four different continents—Europe, Asia, Africa and America.
During 2015, over 100,000 pictures were submitted by the participants.
Wiki Loves Earth was organised through numerous national contests, coordinated by local volunteers. The national juries then submitted up to 10 pictures to the international stage of the contest. With 26 participating countries, the international jury had to consider a total of 259 candidate pictures. The jury selected and ranked the photos in several stages by means of a dedicated web tool.
The international jury was composed of 9 photographers from different countries, all experienced in nature photography: Dmytro Balkhovitin (Ukraine), Matthew Buck (Great Britain), Dietmar Bartz (Germany), Walaa Abdel Manaem (Egypt), Alex Wang (USA), Katerina Zareva-Simeonova (Bulgaria), Zeynel Cebeci (Turkey), Susanne Plank (Austria) and Yathin Krishnappa (India).
After careful evaluation jury members have selected the following images, in addition to the winning image above.
Second place: a view of the Laurisilva (laurel forest) of Madeira, Portugal. Photo by Jnvalves, [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
Third place: the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), or Steinbock, in National Park “Hohe Tauern“, Carinthia, Austria. Third place in Wiki Loves Earth 2015.Photo by Bernd Thaller [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
4. A spider (Misumena vatia) killed a bee. Picture taken in Bratental nature reserve, near Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany. By Suhaknoke [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
5. European bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia. Photo by Elgollimoh [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
7. Nature reserve Wolayer See and surrounding area, Carinthia, Austria. By GeKo15 [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
8. Cormorants at dusk on the pond of Vaccarès, France. By Ddeveze [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
9. Limestone stalagmites inside the Anhumas abyss, Brasil. By Caio Vilela [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
11. Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), Thyna, Tunisia. By Elgollimoh [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
12. Khlong Lan Waterfall, Khlong Lan National Park, Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand. By Khunkay [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
13. Malakatyn river at Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, part of Lena Delta Wildlife Reserve, Sakha, Russia. By Boris Solovyev [CC BY-SA 4.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
15. Lines left after skiing on the snowy slopes of Baba Mountain below the peak Pelister, National park Pelister, Macedonia. By Ptahhotep [CC BY-SA 4.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
Special nomination: Apis Mellifera drone—moment at birth, Ribeirão Preto, Brasil. This image received a high rating from the jurors, but as it was not taken in a protected area, it was not eligible for an award. Photo by Jonathan Wilkins [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
The full report of the international jury, explaining the work of the jury, selection process and presenting the results together with comments of the jury, is available here.
Congratulations to the winners and thank you for everyone who worked on organisation of the contest this year!
WLE International team
All photographs in this post are published by their authors under CC BY-SA. Click the photos for details.