Read the full story and see the pictures at bioGraphic.
Each year, the California Academy of Sciences’ renowned BigPicture Photography Competition celebrates some of the world’s best photographers and the year’s most striking images. Judged by an esteemed panel of nature and conservation photography experts, including Suzi Eszterhas, Tony Wu, and bioGraphic contributing photo editor Sophie Stafford, the competition’s winning images and finalists highlight Earth’s biodiversity and illustrate the many threats that our planet faces. Each photo, in its own way, inspires viewers to protect and conserve the remarkable diversity of life on Earth. Below, we present the winners and some of our personal favorites from this year’s competition.