Admirers of wildlife photography have the chance to vote for five top images from around the world.

The Natural History Museum in Britain has prepared a selection of 25 images from nearly 50,000 submissions entered in the annual wildlife photographer of the year competition.

The show has an environmental purpose in that it tries to highlight the fragility of wildlife on the planet.

The contest has a category for the public vote, where one winner and four finalists will emerge from the shortlist of 25.


The top five People's Choice Award images will also be displayed online joining the 100-strong winning portfolio chosen by the judges.

The shortlisted photographs show all kinds of wildlife from Mexican free-tailed bats to a hummingbird in full flight and a tiny caterpillar crawling around on a piece of straw.

It also captures some stunning moments - the stare of death as a lion eyes a young wildebeest and the moment before a group of monkeys begin to fight.

The list of finalists also includes entries from two New Zealanders.

Stephen Belcher spent a week photographing the golden snub-nosed monkeys at Zhouzhi Nature Reserve in the Qinling Mountains in China.

He said his image shows two males about to fight, one on a rock and the other bounding in with a young male.

Cari Hill took a picture of a giraffe poking its head indoors in search of a treat.

She said that the owners of Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, Kenya, started a breeding programme to reintroduce Rothschild's giraffes into the wild after learning their habitat was at risk as it was being subdivided into smallholdings.

The shortlisted images are on display at the Natural History Museum in London until the vote closes on January 10 next year.

The winner of the vote will then be showcased until the exhibition closes on September 10.

To view the full gallery and have your say vote here