Wildlife Artist of the Year categories

Wildlife Artist of the Year, in association with BBC Wildlife, is an internationally renowned wildlife art competition. Launched in 2008 by David Shepherd MBE, it has raised more than £1.2 million in sales and entries for DSWF’s ground-based conservation partners in Africa and Asia since its inception. There are seven Wildlife Artist of the Year categories to choose from, suitable for aspiring amateur and professional artists. These include Animal Behaviour, Earth’s Wild Beauty, Facing Extinction, Human Impact sponsored in memory of Ingrid Beazley (for ages 16-22), Into The Blue, Urban Wildlife and Wings. We’re also thrilled to introduce a new Newcomer award for Wildlife Artist of the Year 2022 which celebrates first time entrants.

Animal Behaviour

Artwork by Szilvia Mate

Animals, like humans, have complex personalities and behaviours and show a wide range of emotion, intellect and sentience. Whether showing incredible skill in seeking food, demonstrating protective instincts for their young, engaging in a unique mating performance or simply relaxing in the sun, every creature will display individuality and character.

The Animal Behaviour category welcomes artworks that exhibit a true understanding of animal behaviour, capturing moments that might be humorous, tragic, aggressive, or simply a part of their daily routine.

Earth’s Wild Beauty

Artwork by Colette Clegg

Our planet is an inspiring tapestry of contrasting habitats and landscapes, providing homes to a host of different animals, plants, trees and insects. Humans share this planet with a huge variety of species and everyday moments of beauty occur as the land and wildlife that lives within it adapts to survive the extremes of nature.

The Earth’s Wild Beauty category is a celebration of Earth’s wild landscapes, seascapes and all that live in them.

Facing Extinction

Artwork by Emily Pooley

Today, the world is facing its next mass extinction with hundreds of species across the planet vanishing from the face of the earth before our very eyes. Whether driven by habitat destruction, wildlife crime, human-wildlife conflict, pollution, climate change or disease, the growing challenges facing many of these incredible creatures could mean that if we don’t end extinction, our last chance to see them will be on canvas or immortalised in sculpture.

The Facing Extinction category invites artists to celebrate these vulnerable species, capturing their behaviour and importance in striking imagery. They may be gone tomorrow if we do not act today.

Human Impact (for artists aged 16 to 22 years of age)

Sponsored in memory of Ingrid Beazley

Artwork by Jungi Jang

The youth of today are set to inherit the heavy and complex burden of protecting our ailing planet. Humans have had an undeniable and indelible impact on the earth. The lifestyle changes necessary to reduce our negative impact on the planet are happening, but at a glacial pace.

The new and growing movement of young environmental activists are demonstrating the younger generation are ready and motivated to make dramatic changes to the world around them, giving us hope for the future of our planet. The Human Impact category gives young adults a platform to make a statement with their art on the impact humans are having on the environment.

Into the Blue

Artwork by Nick Oneill

Covering 75% of our planet and essential to all life on earth, fresh water and salt water are home to some of the most unusual, diverse, mysterious and incredible creatures. Due to pollution, particularly plastic, our oceans are struggling to support life. 

The Into the Blue category features artworks that illustrate the wonderful world of water – be it ocean, seashore, wetland, river or stream – and the incredible animals and landscapes within it.

Urban Wildlife

Artwork by Derek Robertson

Many species live side by side with city-dwelling humans but often remain under the radar. Within a harsh city landscape, a fascinating world of wildlife can be uncovered if only the time is taken to search for it.

The Urban Wildlife category welcomes entries in an urban setting or depicting the city life of animals and plants, demonstrating a contrast and harmony between wild and urban life.


Artwork by Darren Rees

The wonderful world of winged creatures is diverse, complex and fascinating. Birds, bees, butterflies and bats all experience the planet from a different perspective, soaring above our oceans, crossing vast desert plains and making their homes in unusual locations.

The Wings category shows the extraordinary variety of winged wildlife on our planet, including birds and insects, in-flight or at rest.