About National Wildlife Magazine

Published six times a year since 1962, National Wildlife is the flagship publication of the National Wildlife Federation, the country’s largest conservation organization. It is designed to inform NWF’s members and other readers about key issues relating to the nation's natural resources and environment. Each article is illustrated by spectacular color images of wildlife and natural areas, taken by the world’s top nature photographers.

History of National Wildlife covers

Over the years, the magazine has received numerous national awards for its photojournalism. It has also published an annual photo contest for the past 40 years.

In each issue, the editors focus much of the content on topical issues that mirror NWF’s conservation priorities, with heavy emphasis on solutions to those problems. The magazine also reports on new discoveries about wild animal behavior, how to garden naturally using native plants and how homeowners can attract wildlife to their property. And it describes actions NWF staff, members and partners are taking across the country to help protect wildlife and its habitat.

About National Wildlife Photo Contest

More than four decades ago, the first National Wildlife Photo Contest launched with one theme—the effects of pollution on wildlife—and a very grim grand prize winner: an image of a dead cormorant on a beach. Since then, the annual contest has grown exponentially. Categories have been expanded to include wildlife, landscapes, plants, backyard habitats and people in the outdoors.

For many years the contest was limited to amateurs—the magazine’s editors wanted to give non-professionals a chance to have their photos published in the magazine. When the contest began receiving online submissions in 2006, the competition was opened to all professionals and to youth. Today, all three levels of photographers compete with their peers for prizes and the opportunity to be published either in print or online.

Through all these changes, one thing remains constant: the power of photography to connect people—both photographers and viewers—with wildlife and the outdoors.

Since 1971, the contest has celebrated this connection. Whether slides, prints or today’s digital files, winning images are still selected on the basis of originality, execution and technical excellence. Many winning photographers have gone on to receive wider recognition, having their photographs exhibited in galleries and published in some of the world’s top magazines.

In 2011, we introduced the "Baby Animals" category and a new prize, the People’s Choice Award, along with the capability to share photos with others.



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