The British Ecological Society (BES) has revealed the winners of its annual photography competition 'Capturing Ecology'. The images, taken by international ecologists and students, celebrate various aspects of ecology and feature a variety of flora and fauna from around the world.

The overall winner is Christopher Beirne, from the University of Exeter and Crees Foundation, with his image of an ocelot taking advantage of human-made nature trails at night to stalk its prey in Peru.

British Ecological Society photography competition
Overall Winner: 
On the trail by Christopher Beirne, Crees Foundation and University of Exeter. A male ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) uses a human-made trail at the Manu Learning Centre, Peru. Although we often think of trails through tropical rainforests as having negative impacts on local wildlife, several cats species (including the ocelot and its larger cousins pumas and jaguars) often use these trails to rapidly move around their home ranges. Christopher Beirne/British Ecological Society

"The photograph was taken in an area of land that had been completely cleared for agriculture 30-50 years ago. Documenting the wildlife that has returned as the forest has recovered was not only a real privilege, it has also changed my perspective on the value of degraded land in tropical areas", Beirne said.

Dr Hazel Norman, Executive Director at the British Ecological Society, said: "Our judges had a difficult task to choose from many impressive entries this year. Some of the images demonstrated interactions between different species in their natural environment, which can be complex and difficult to capture."

The winning images will be exhibited at 'Ecology across Borders', the Society's joint annual meeting in Ghent, Belgium, in December, which will bring together 1,500 ecologists from around 60 countries to discuss the latest advances in ecological research across the whole discipline.