EcoSchools U.S.

The 2024 National Wildlife Photo Contest

Now in its 53rd year, the prestigious National Wildlife® Photo Contest celebrates wildlife, habitats and the natural world, with an emphasis on conservation and ethical photography honoring the well-being of animals in the wild.

In keeping with the National Wildlife Federation’s critical work combating climate change, protecting wildlife and connecting people with nature, the National Wildlife Photo Contest inspires millions of NWF members and supporters to care about wildlife and to act on its behalf. EcoSchools U.S. encourages aspiring young photographers and conservationists to share their best images of wildlife and wild lands—from around the world and their own backyards—in the Young Nature Photographers category.

Age upon date of entry: 13 to 17

Contest Opens: January 17, 2024
Contest Closes: March 31, 2024. EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 7, 2024.
Winners Notified: October 2024 (subject to change)

When entering the National Wildlife Photo Contest, you will be first directed to a payment page. Students of registered EcoSchools qualify for a fee waiver. For more information, send a request for a waiver code to Please include the school name in your request.

In the Young Nature Photographers category, one first-place winner will be awarded a cash prize of $500, and one second-place winner will be awarded a cash prize of $250. Youth entrants also have a chance to compete for the grand-prize Nature’s Witness Award, with a cash prize of $5,000. All amounts are in U.S. dollars. Youth category prizes will be paid to a consenting parent or guardian on the youth entrant’s behalf. NWF will also award honorable mentions as the judges deem appropriate. All winners and honorable mentions will appear on NWF’s website, and NWF will publish a selection of winners and honorable mentions from all categories in the Winter 2025 issue of National Wildlife® magazine, in print and online. Editors will send two copies of that issue to the entrants whose photos are published. Winners will be notified by email.

Video: National Wildlife Photo Contest, Behind the Scenes
Getting Youth to Focus on Nature
Photo Tips: Beauty of Birds
6 Tips for Wild Pics
Nature’s Witness Virtual Exhibit & Educational Activities
Capturing Emotion in a Photograph
10 Tips to Improve Your Wildlife Photography
4 Vital Tips for Ethical Wildlife Photography
For Educators: Youth Participation Parental Consent

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More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.

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