winning image

Picture credit: Daniel Beltrá, Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011

A ?striking? image of eight pelicans rescued from an oil spill in the US has tonight claimed top spot in this year?s Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Daniel Beltrá?s image, entitled ?Still life in oil?, was plucked from six images he had entered into the Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year category.

Daniel said he captured the picture at a bird rescue facility in Fort Jackson, Louisiana.

Commenting on the winning photo, judging panel chairman Mark Carwardine said it displays ‘technical perfection’ and makes a ?strong environmental statement?.

He added: ?The sheer simplicity of this powerful image makes it really beautiful and shocking at the same time.?

The annual competition is owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine.