Discover a world of natural heritage through the winning images from Wiki Loves Earth

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Wiki Love Earth’s overall winner: Ogoy Island in Russia’s Lake Baikal. Photo by Sergey Pesterev, CC BY-SA 4.0.

A jaguar gazed out from a bed of shrubs. A water buffalo took a bath. A capybara family gathered in line. These are just a few of the delightful sights captured in the winners of the international Wiki Loves Earth photography competition, announced today.

Coming in first place (at top) is a ghostly image of Ogoy Island. Photographer Sergey Pesterev ventured out onto the ice of Lake Baikal, the largest freshwater lake in the world, and was commended by the contest judges for using cracks in the ice and clouds in the sky to frame the rocky center of the image.
Wiki Loves Earth focuses on natural heritage in protected areas—unique and special places like nature reserves, landscape conservation areas, national parks, and more. It asks photographers to contribute their work to Wikimedia Commons, a media repository that holds many of the photos used on Wikipedia and the Wikimedia ecosystem. All of its content is freely licensed, meaning that they can be used by anyone, for any purpose, with few restrictions.[1]
The fourth annual contest, held earlier this year, saw a total of about 132,000 uploads to Commons, a record. These were captured in at least 38 countries.[2] About 15,000 different user accounts uploaded photos during the contest, nearly 14,000 of which were newly registered.
All of the entries were judged by national juries; winners there were forwarded to the international jury, composed of members from seven different nations (Germany, Serbia, Thailand, Nepal, Russia, Argentina, and Ukraine).
The contest’s second- through fifteenth-place images follow.

Second place: A jaguar in the Pantanal Conservation Area of Brazil. It was commended by one jury member for its dark background, which they saw as “show[ing] uncertainty” and accentuating the jaguar’s expression. Photo by Leonardo Ramos, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Third place: A pair of Eurasian spoonbills in the Danube Biosphere Reserve, Ukraine. This was one jury member’s favorite animal photo from the competition because of its “artwork-like reflections and great dynamism.” Photo by Ryzhkov Sergey, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Fourth place: A water buffalo getting a nice soak in Baluran National Park, Indonesia. A jury member applauded the photo’s blend of “lighting, focus and symmetry of colors”—it may “[take] a while to realize the bull is there in the mud, but then it’s all you can see.” Photo by Candra Firmansyah, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Fifth place: Three Svalbard reindeer grazing in Bünsow Land National Park, Spitsbergen, Norway. One jury member loved the “clear focus on the animals” and the “change from brown to blue” in the photo. Photo by Siri Uldal, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Sixth place: Pedra Azul (Blue Stone) with the Milky Way above it, located in the eponymous state park in Brazil. Photo by EduardoMSNeves, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Seventh place: A Bornean orangutan. Photo by Ridwan0810, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Eighth place: The Dovbush rocks seen at twilight, located in the Polyanytskiy Regional Landscape Park, Ukraine. Photo by Пивовар Павло, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Ninth place: Aerial shot of Dzharylhach National Nature Park, Ukraine. Photo by Vadym Yunyk, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Tenth place: A Phyllomedusa rohdei frog steps over its friend, seen in Brazil. Photo by Renato Augusto Martins, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Eleventh place: Railroad tracks in Lawachara National Park, Bangladesh, provide a convenient path through the forest. Photo by Pallabkabir, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Twelfth place: One of the three Nilgiri Himal peaks backdrops this shot of a simple suspension bridge over the Gandaki River in Nepal. Photo by Faj2323, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Thirteenth place: A northern pika peeks over a rock in Momsky National Park, Russia. Photo by Юрий Емельянов, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Fourteenth place: A recently burned-down forest on Parnitha Mountain, Greece. Photo by Stathis floros, CC BY-SA 4.0.

Fifteenth place: Capybaras near the Tietê River in São Paulo state, Brazil. Photo by Clodomiro Esteves Junior, CC BY-SA 4.0.

You can learn more about Wiki Loves Earth on its website, and read this year’s jury report on Commons in low and high resolution.
Ed Erhart, Senior Editorial Associate, Communications
Wikimedia Foundation

Want to see more? Check out this year’s winners from Wiki Loves Monuments.


  1. Please make sure to follow each image’s copyright tag. Many of those listed above, for instance, are available under a Creative Commons CC BY-SA license, meaning that you are free to share them for any reason so long as you give credit to the photographer and release any derivative images under the same copyright license.
  2. This total excludes countries from the unique UNESCO Biosphere Reserves campaign, for which the number of countries has not been tabulated yet.

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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Seems this year has got a lot of great photographs. I love the twilight photograph of the Dovbush rocks among the ones that got the 2nd and 3rd place. Thanks for covering the prize winning photographs with a short context. Great post.

[…] De internasjonale vinnerne ble publisert 11. desember 2017, og bildet fra Sassendalen på Svalbard, tatt av Siri Uldal, havnet på femte plass. […]

Happy to see Bangladeshi photographer on this list.

Eleventh place: Railroad tracks in Lawachara National Park, Bangladesh, provide a convenient path through the forest. Photo by Pallabkabir, CC BY-SA 4.0.
thank you for sharing!

they are beautiful. thankyou

Amazing images!!!

Beautiful work!

Always love to see beautiful pictures and those certainly fit the bill.

It never ceases to amaze me, the exquisite beauty of the earth that Mother Nature provides. These pictures captured many aspects of it, and we are fortunate that Wiki Loves Earth has posted them online for us to enjoy. Truly a gift. Thanks!

I really enjoyed seeing these images this morning. Thank you very much for sharing with me.
Roger E.

I love the variety of countries visited in these photos. What a fantastic reminder of the beauty of our entire world.

God’s wonderful creations. Unmatchable!

Thank you so much for these fascinating photos! By the way, I see 3 reindeer in the Bunslow Land photo, (fifth place)

You have beautifully captured some of the essence of humanity with these amazing pieces of art

WOW! to the photographers who captured these amazing photographs…am in awe! Thank you for posting!

Beautiful Images. Nothing like nature in the raw.

Amazing photos! They make me fall in love with this planet all over again. A big thank you to all photographers and to Wiki Media for sharing them.

Actually there are at least two more; in the center middle ground and upper right background, but whose counting! Beautiful images!!
Kudos to all the photographers!!!

Mahalo Wikipedia for sharing. Many, many thanks to the eye behind the camera for capturing moments of awe.

Thank you Wiki for making it possible for us to view these photos from different parts of our planet.

Thank you for providing the opportunity to see these photos.
They are in my line of interest and beautiful.
It’s also interesting to see the order of ranking.
I will say twelfth place was stunning considering the animals and person on the bridge. To think that’s just a day in the life for them suspended so high!

Unbelievably beautiful & fun to see! Thank you!

So amazing. This is the best New Year’s present I seen.

Thank You! Amazing photos.

Beautiful images!
They bring a smile to my face and a little happiness to my life!

Seeing these fine photos reminds me of something Earnest Hemingway once said: “The world is a fine place… worth fighting for”

I thought that #10 , the frogs, was very cute with a great use of color. I thought that #11 , woman walking on the railroad tracks, was absolutely stunning. I HATED #1. Not only was there nothing living in the picture, but there was all that ice and bitter cold and snow and ICE! I don’t need a reminder of that! It was very off-putting and unpleasant to me. If there had been birds, or something alive, showing that life can survive even in that terrible climate, that would have been inspiring. But no – it was all dead!

For me this is a wonderful thank you gift of the world’s beauty!!

Thanks for sharing, you are so wonderful to help educate

Thank you for the beautiful gift!

Truly inspiring photos ! Thank you for sharing them !

Thanks for the pictures. They are awesone!
Please keep the good work and many blessings to all the team, including the janitors and maintenance people.

Many thanks.

Beautiful photos. Thank You for sharing.


It is so important to capture our natural world now, because many of our planet’s habitats and species are disappearing at an alarming rate. Thanks

United States has a few nice Sceans. Also I think there must be some qualified judges.

The Earth is indeed great and beautiful. Thank you.

Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos, and thanks to all who help with Wikimedia. Great work!

These beautiful photographs capture specific moments in specific places by very talented photographers. I may not agree with the Juror’s choices In their numbered choices as they are all winners! And I don’t know who the Jury consisted of, but I’ll designate myself as a Juror and I choose the Water Buffalo and the Azur Pedro (Blue Stone) as most extraordinary, original and beautiful photos I’ve ever seen on the subject of our Natural World. Kudos to all the artists and thank you Wiki for undertaking this project.

I can’t function without Wikipedia as a resource that I can trust.completely!

Thank you, so beautiful…………

These photos are stunning and actually bring a tear to my eye. I am so fearful of losing this amazing planet to hubris and utter irresponsibility.

Amazingly Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

Fabulous photo of contented orangutan. Also enjoyed railroad tracks scene, with monkeys accompanying. All photos were winners in my book.

Wonderful!! Thank you so very much!