These are the best wildlife images of 2017

The winners of the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition have been revealed, with photojournalist Brent Stirton being crowned Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017.

Stirton won for his haunting image Memorial to a Species, depicting a recently shot and de-horned black rhino in South Africa’s Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Reserve.

Competition judge Roz Kidman Cox said: "To make such a tragic scene almost majestic in its sculptural power deserves the highest award. There is rawness, but there is also great poignancy and therefore dignity in the fallen giant. It’s also symbolic of one of the most wasteful, cruel and unnecessary environmental crimes, one that needs to provoke the greatest public outcry."

Young Wildlife Photographer of theYear

Daniël Nelson picked up the award for Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 with his shot of a young western lowland gorilla taking it easy on the forest floor. The judges said they picked Daniël’s image because it managed to capture "the inextricable similarity between wild apes and humans, and the importance of the forest on which they depend".

You can see a selection of the winning images from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition below, and all the winning and commended images at the Natural History Museum website. An exhibition featuring the winning images opens on October 20 at the Natural History Museum in London, and will tour the UK and overseas next year.

Image 1 of 8

Polar pas de deux © Eilo Elvinger - Wildlife Photographer of the Year
(Image: © Polar pas de deux © Eilo Elvinger - Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Winner 2017, Black and White

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The ice monster © Laurent Ballesta - Wildlife Photographer of the Year
(Image: © The ice monster © Laurent Ballesta - Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Winner 2017, Earth’s environments

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The night raider © Marcio Cabral - Wildlife Photographer of the Year
(Image: © The night raider © Marcio Cabral - Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Winner 2017, Animals in their environment

Image 4 of 8

Giant gathering © Tony Wu - Wildlife Photographer of the Year
(Image: © Giant gathering © Tony Wu - Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Winner 2017, Behaviour: Mammals

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Crab surprise © Justin Gilligan - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner 2017, Behaviour: Invertebrates

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Contemplation © Peter Delaney - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Winner 2017, Animal portraits

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The good life © Daniel Nelson - Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Grand title winner 2017, Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Memorial to a species © Brent Stirton - Wildlife Photographer of the Year
(Image: © Memorial to a species © Brent Stirton - Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Grand title winner 2017