From warring mudskippers to joyful turtles, this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition creates unforgettable portraits of creatures and species from around the world.

The annual international wildlife photography competition, staged by the Natural History Museum in London, has also, more recently, shown a changing world and the impact of climate change on endangered species.

An exhibition of the winning and commended images has now opened at the museum, and will later tour around the world.

In our gallery we show the contenders for the People's Choice Award, a pictures captured in a split second but are often the result of years of patient planning.

The Herald: Ofer Levy, Australia, of a mudskipper fiercely defending its territory from a trespassing crab inNeighbourhood Dispute by Ofer Levy, Australia, of a mudskipper fiercely defending its territory from a trespassing crab in Roebuck Bay, Australia

The Herald: Snowshoes by Bull In A Garbage Dump by Brent Stirton, South Africa, of a bull elephant kicking over garbage as it scavenges at a dump in Tissamaharama, Sri Lanka. By Brent Stirton/Wildlife Photographer of the Year


The Herald: The Happy Turtle by Tzahi Finkelstein, Israel, of a Balkan pond turtle with a northern banded groundling dragonfly in Israel's Jezreel Valley


The Herald: The Grassland Geladas by Marco Gaiotti, Italy, of Gelada monkeys in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia.

The Herald: At Me, Looking At You by John E. Marriott, Canada, of a grizzly bear in the Chilko River, British Columbia, Canada.

The Herald: Tender Touch by Andy Parkinson, UK, of two courting mountain hares in the Monadhliath Mountains in Scotland.

The Herald: Hope by Roberto Garcia-Roa, Spain, of a rescued chimpanzee looks on from its enclosure at the Chimpanzee Conservation Center in the Republic of Guinea.

The Herald: Aurora Jellies by Audun Rikardsen, Norway, of Moon jellyfish swarm in the waters of a fjord outside Tromso in northern Norway illuminated by the aurora borealis.

The Herald: Snowshoes by Deena Sveinsson, USA, of a snowshoe hare in the Rocky Mountain National Park, USA.

The Herald: Opportunity Fox by Matt Maran, UK, of a young red fox in London.

The Herald: Troublemaker by Stefan Christmann, Germany, of an Adelie penguin approaches an emperor penguin and its chick during feeding time in Antarctica's Atka Bay

The Herald: Curiosity by Gerald Hinde, South Africa, of lions in South Africa's Greater Kruger National Park.

The Herald: Homecoming by Dvir Barkay, USA/Israel, of a pygmy round-eared bat returns to its termite-nest home in the lowland forests of Costa Rica

The Herald: Missed Sip of Milk by Karim Iliya, USA/Lebanon, of a humpback whale calf misses some of its mother's milk off the coast of Rurutu, French Polynesia.

The Herald: Starling Murmuration by Daniel Dencescu, Germany/Romania, of a murmuration above the city of Rome, Italy.

The Herald: Swallow Over Meadow by Hermann Hirsch/Jan Lessman, Germany, of a barn swallow flies over a meadow of cornflowers in Eastern Germany

The Herald: Tough Negotiation by Ayala Fishaimer, Israel, of a red fox cub with the shrew in the Judean Foothills, Israel,