Our 2015 winner comes from Lower Kachura Lake, a popular tourist destination in Central Karakoram National Park, Skardu, Pakistan. Image by Zaeemsiddiq, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
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 nearly 9,000 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, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Third place: the Alpine ibex (Capra ibex), or Steinbock, in an Austrian national park in the Hohe Tauern mountain range. Photo by Bernd Thaller, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Fourth place: a spider (Misumena vatia) with a freshly killed bee in the Bratental nature reserve, near Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany. Photo by Suhaknoke, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Fifth place: a European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) in Ichkeul National Park, Tunisia. Photo by Elgollimoh, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Sixth place: Carpathian Biosphere Reserve, Zakarpattia Oblast, Ukraine. Photo by Vian and retouched by Iifar, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 4.0.
Seventh place: Wolayer See and surrounding area, Carinthia, Austria. Photo by GeKo15, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Eight place: cormorants at dusk on the pond of Vaccarès, France. Photo by Ddeveze, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Ninth place: limestone stalagmites inside the Anhumas Abyss, Brasil. Photo by Caio Vilela, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Tenth place: High Tatras as seen from the Polish Spisz, Tatry Natura 2000 Special Area of Conservation, Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Poland. Photo by Łukasz Śmigasiewicz, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0 (pl).
Eleventh place: Greater flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus), Salines de Thyna Ramsar site, Tunisia. Photo by Elgollimoh, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Twelfth place: Khlong Lan Waterfall, Khlong Lan National Park, Kamphaeng Phet Province, Thailand. Photo by Khunkay, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Thirteenth place: the Malakatyn River at Bolshoy Lyakhovsky Island, part of the Lena Delta Wildlife Reserve, Sakha, Russia. Photo by Boris Solovyev, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Fourteenth place: Morning in Tolkuse bog, Luitemaa Nature Conservation Area, Pärnu County, Estonia. Photo by Märt Kose, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
Fifteenth place: Lines left after skiing on the snowy slopes of Baba Mountain, Pelister National Park, Macedonia. Photo by Ptahhotep, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 4.0.
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, freely licensed under CC-by-SA 3.0.
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.
Congratulations to the winners and thank you for everyone who worked on organisation of the contest this year!
Wiki Loves Earth international team