Natural History Museum WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2018. Highly Commended.

Animals in Their Environment Highly commended 2018 by David Gallan, Australia. (Reproduced with permission from the photographer.)

In his youth David learnt to use a camera from his uncle, who worked as a newspaper photographer and editor, and would join the press team on assignments during holidays. Now retired from teaching in schools and university, David uses his images for environmental campaigning and education. FACEBOOK

"Home of the Quoll"

It took David three years to locate this quoll – and another six months to take this photograph. He set up a camera trap where a fallen log bridged a stream, foregoing flash to minimise disturbance, then placed a scent bait to pause any passing quolls. His perseverance paid off when this hunting female scampered into view.

These shy creatures are ferocious predators. Almost a metre long from nose to tail, quolls can slice meat off the reptiles, birds and mammals they hunt with their strong teeth and muscles. Like all quoll species, the spotted-tailed quoll is threatened by habitat loss due to industrial logging and competition with introduced species.

Technical specification

Nikon D7000; Nikon 10–24mm f3.5–4.5 lens at 15mm; 1/100 sec at f4.5 (-0.67 e/v); ISO 3200; Sabre trigger; Home-made housing; Manfrotto tripod.

Monga National Park, New South Wales, Australia