Wiki Loves Earth 2015 winners announced

Lower Kachura lake at Shangrila resorts, Skardu, Pakistan. Wiki Loves Earth 2015 winning picture. By Zaeemsiddiq, freely licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
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.

View of the Laurisilva (Laurel Forest), island of Madeira, Portugal. Second place in Wiki Loves Earth 2015. Photo by Jnvalves, [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
Second place: a view of the Laurisilva (laurel forest) of Madeira, Portugal. Photo by Jnvalves, [CC BY-SA 3.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
The Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), or Steinbock, in National Park
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
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
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
European bee-eater, Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia. Photo by Elgollimoh [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
Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine. By Vian [CC BY-SA 4.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
6. Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine. By Vian [CC BY-SA 4.0 license], via Wikimedia Commons
Nature reserve Wolayer See and surrounding area, Carinthia, Austria. By GeKo15 [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
Cormorants at dusk on the pond of Vaccarès, France. By Ddeveze  [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
Limestone stalagmites inside the Anhumas abyss, Bonito, Brasil. By Caio Vilela [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
High Tatras as seen from the Polish Spisz, Tatry Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. By Łukasz Śmigasiewicz [CC BY-SA 3.0 pl license], via Wikimedia Commons
10. High Tatras as seen from the Polish Spisz, Tatry Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. By Łukasz Śmigasiewicz [CC BY-SA 3.0 pl license], via Wikimedia Commons
Greater flamingo, Thyna, Tunisia. By Elgollimoh [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
Khlong Lan Waterfall, Khlong Lan National Park, Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand. By Khunkay [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
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
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
Morning in Tolkuse bog, Luitemaa Nature Conservation Area, Pärnu County, Estonia. By Märt Kose [CC BY-SA 3.0 ee license], via Wikimedia Commons
14. Morning in Tolkuse bog, Luitemaa Nature Conservation Area, Pärnu County, Estonia. By Märt Kose [CC BY-SA 3.0 ee license], via Wikimedia Commons
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
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 - moments at birth, Brasil. Photo by Jonathan Wilkins [CC BY-SA 3.0  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.

16 thoughts on “Wiki Loves Earth 2015 winners announced”

  1. I enjoy nature porn as much as the next guy or girl (a lake in the mountains is always beautiful, one doesn’t have to be a good photographer to discover that) but I have to point out that there is absolutely no difference whether a close-up picture of a bee is taken on a protected area or not, there is absolutely no difference. Yes, sometimes a close-up shows features that could not be shown elsewhere but these cases are definitely a minority. Also, not everything worth documenting in nature is protected officially, it’s the question of legal and political issues, not inherent value. Perhaps it would be smart to sit down and reconsider the rules so that the jury doesn’t have to look ridiculous next year.

    1. Well, we have done exactly as you say 🙂 We have adjusted the rules. Still, it would not be fair to have the picture in the main nomination

    2. And I do not believe that the jury looked ridiculous. No one did actually, but the organizers are the most at fault here, as we were supposed to double-check if the pictures are in line with the rules

  2. Real Natural Beauty of Pakistan is acknowledged by Wikipedia but there is a lot more to be discover in Pakistan. Just come to Enjoy

  3. The selection of a winner embarrasses me. In a contest where photographs of natural reserves shall be displayed, to put a picture with traces of human activity to the 1st place is something that should haven’t happened.

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