The winners of this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been announced at an awards ceremony held at London's Natural History Museum. Canadian amateur photographer Don Gutoski beat more than 42,000 entries from across 96 countries to be named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 for his image, Tale Of Two Foxes, a beautiful but graphic portrait of the struggle for life in the subarctic climes of Cape Churchill, Canada.

Cape Churchill is where the range of the red fox and the more northern Arctic fox overlap. "The Churchill guides had heard that the two species will occasionally fight, but no one we talked to had ever seen this behaviour," Gutoski said. "I first noticed the red fox hunting and interacting with some prey and on closer approach realised that prey was a white Arctic fox. By the time I got close enough to capture the event, the fight was over and the victor was feeding. I took a number of pictures of the event, until the red fox had eaten its fill, and picked up the remains to find a hiding spot for a later meal."

Kathy Moran, a jury member and National Geographic magazine's senior editor for natural history projects, said, "The immediate impact of this photograph is that it appears as if the red fox is slipping out of its winter coat. What might simply be a straightforward interaction between predator and prey struck the jury as a stark example of climate change, with red foxes encroaching on Arctic fox territory. The bottom line is, this image works on multiple levels. It is graphic, it captures behaviour and it is one of the strongest single storytelling photographs I have seen."

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 overall winner: A tale of two foxes by Don Gutoski, Canada. A frozen moment reveals surprising behaviour, witnessed in Wapusk National Park, on Hudson Bay, Canada, in early winter. Red foxes don’t actively hunt Arctic foxes, but where the ranges of two predators overlap, there can be conflict. In this case, it led to a deadly attack. Though the light was poor, the snow-covered tundra provided the backdrop for the moment that the red fox paused with the smaller fox in its mouth in a grim pose Don Gutoski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

Ondrej Pelánek, 14, from the Czech Republic won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 title for his image Fighting Ruffs. The image was taken in Norway, on Varanger's tundra, around 15km inland. Ruffs are known for their warlike behaviour during courting. "Far away behind the polar circle we observed fighting ruffs," Ondrej said. "I took this photograph at midnight when my father was sleeping. I was too excited, so stayed awake."

"This is a complex, beautifully layered photograph, a surprisingly sophisticated way of seeing that immediately generated buzz within the jury," Moran said. "There are lots of good photographs of ruffs getting ready to display, but very few images that capture the behaviour with such intensity and grace. The photographer has captured a moment that speaks to powerful behaviour, yet renders it as a delicate dance. You could spend a career trying to make this photograph. That it came from one of the younger entrants was just a thrill."

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015
Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year winner: Ruffs on display by Ondrej Pelánek, Czech Republic. On their traditional lek ground – an area of tundra on Norway’s Varanger Peninsula – territorial male ruffs in full breeding plumage show off their ruffs to each other, proclaiming ownership of their courtship areas. Ondrej took his winning shot as one male leapt up, warning off his neighbours. Ruffs are unusual in that breeding males behave according to their plumage colours. Those with dark plumage perform on territories. Ones with white ruffs, known as satellite males (far left and far right), don’t hold territories but display on the outside of the lek or form uneasy alliances with territory-holding males, helping them to entice females in the hope of grabbing a sneaky mating if the opportunity arises. A third type of ‘sneaky male’ disguises itself as a female Ondrej Pelánek/Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015

These two images were selected from 18 winners of categories such as Under Water and Urban, depicting nature at its finest, from displays of extraordinary animal behaviour to beautiful landscapes. IBTimes UK presents a selection of category winners. These and many more stunning images are on show at the 51st Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, opening at the Natural History Museum on 16 October. After its London premiere, the exhibition embarks on a UK and international tour.

The 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be open for entries from both professional and amateur photographers between December and February 2016. Visit the Natural History Museum website for further information.