These are the best wildlife images of 2017

(Image credit: Contemplation © Peter Delaney - Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

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.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.