Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018!

I am both extremely proud and totally shocked that I just won the overall title Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018!

My image ‘The Golden Couple’ won First Prize in the Animal Portraits category and then suddenly also won the grand title. I did not see that one coming, which explains why I then gave the worst speech in the history of WPY.

The image features two golden snub-nosed monkeys that I photographed in south-west China.


Grand Title winner in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2018.


The Qinling golden snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus roxellana qinlingensis) is an Old World monkey in the Colobinae subfamily. It is endemic to a small area in the temperate forests of the Qinling Mountains at elevations of 1,500-3,400 m above sea level.

These beautiful animals are listed as Endangered by the IUCN as only some 3,800 individuals still exist. Most people have never seen these creatures, and awareness is a critical first step towards the successful conservation of any species. This is why I think it is important to show these images to the world.


An adult male with a juvenile golden snub-nosed monkey on a rock in the Qinling mountains.


Their main threat, as often, is habitat-loss. For instance, lichens are the main staple of the monkey’s diet and dead trees have the greatest lichen coverage. Unfortunately, dead trees are harvested, thus reducing the quality of the habitat and availability of food. The monkey is a highly selective feeder, so damage to its habitat seriously impacts the species.

The males have large bodies covered with very long, golden guard hairs on their backs. Females are about half the size of the males, and their golden guard hairs are shorter.

The golden snub-nosed monkey is found in groups ranging in size from 5-10 individuals to bands of about 600. The males often stay solitary, remaining away from the rest of the group members as they rest, but females or juveniles sometimes join them.


An adult male wedged himself between two trees and looks down on all other monkeys.


Congratulations to all the other winners, especially my fellow Dutchmen Frans Lanting, Jan van der Greef, Theo Bosboom and Jasper Doest, and a big thank you to Daniella – my voice controlled mobile light stand.

And thank you to WPY, the judges (I’ll be wiring your money tomorrow), and all the people who have worked so hard to make this such a great event – you’re the best.

If you would like to order a print of this image or any of my other golden snub-nosed monkey images, please visit our Shop section.


Winner in the GDT European Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards.


And if you would like to photograph these amazing monkeys yourself, then join us on our 2019 China’s Endangered Wildlife photo tour from 30 March – 12 April.

If you’re interested, please check the dedicated tour page and the online brochure:

China’s Endangered Wildlife photo tour: http://ow.ly/4yH2101j7Ii

Brochure: https://slate.adobe.com/cp/uI6nF/




Adult males often sit on their own, away from the rest of the group.


  1. Leo van der Harst (Fotoclub F70) says:

    Beste Marsel,
    Van harte gefeliciteerd met deze prachtige prijs en wel verdient. Eigenlijk een logisch gevolg van hoe jij met jouw vak bezig bent. Zo professioneel, perfectionistisch en gepassioneerd. Onvermoeibaar op zoek naar de perfecte foto en zie het resultaat. Klasse en geniet ervan!

    1. Marsel van Oosten says:

      Beste Leo,

      Dank voor de felicitaties, en excuses voor de enorm vertraagde reactie!

  2. Saravanan says:

    The wildlife nature is super.

  3. Birgit Treipl says:

    Wow! Marsel, congratulations on your prize! You definitely take some stunning pictures! Ik ken je vrouw Daniella en herinner me jullie bruiloft. Ik woon in BC Canada met mijn Canadese husband en we zouden graag eens meegaan op een van jullie reizen (heb Daan al gemaild). Enjoy the recognition! Very well deserved!

    1. Marsel van Oosten says:

      Thank you Birgit! Nice to hear from you, and you will be most welcome on any of our tours!

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