- choice of words
- BBC News World
Tanya Houppermans was the big winner of this year’s Mangrove Photography Awards, for her close-up of a crocodile surrounded by mangroves in Cuba’s Jardines de la Reina archipelago.
Now in its eighth year, this competition organized by the Mangrove Action Project aims to showcase the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests.
In addition, it seeks to expose the fragility of these unique ecosystemsboth above and below water.
Jardines de la Reina is an archipelago off the coast of Cuba and has been a protected site since 1996.
It is one of the most intact marine ecosystems in the world.
“The healthy crocodile population is the result of the pristine condition of the mangroves, and I wanted to get a close-up of this gentle giant in its natural habitat,” said Houppermans, the winner.
“I hope this image will be able to show that protecting these types of areas is critical.”
Mangroves provide protection important against climate change: 4000 m2 of mangrove forest absorbs almost the same amount of carbon dioxide as 4000 m2 of Amazon rainforest.
These forests also protect coastlines from erosion as storms become more frequent.
“The Mangrove Photography Awards have become a platform to intrigue people about the magnificent ecological role that mangroves play in our lives,” said judge Dhritiman Mukherjee.
Octavio Aburto, another judge, added: “This year’s images have captured our imaginations… They give us hope and illuminate a positive future for mangrove ecosystems.”
Here is a selection of the winning images from the different categories of the competition.
Winner of Mangroves and human categorywith: Choney beekeepers, Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman, Bangladesheh
Honey hunters collect wild honey deep in the mangrove swamps of the Sundarbans in Bangladesh, the largest mangrove forest in the world.
Both the recent human development in the area and the climate crisis, especially sea level rise, threaten the ecology of the Sundarbans, and with it the way of life of the local population.
Mangroves and People Runner Up: Life in the White Mangrove, Alex Cao, Vietnam
A local fisherman casts his net into the white-flowered mangroves (Lumnitzera racemosa) of the Bau Ca Cai Conservation Area in Vietnam.
This photo was taken in late fall when the trees have lost their leaves. It highlights the connection between vulnerable communities and nature.
Winner categories Mangroves and Landscape: Dancing Trees Walakiri, Loïc Dupuis, Indonesia
The sun rises over the quiet beaches of East Sumba, Indonesia.
Loïc Dupuis wanted to capture the beauty and fragility of this unique wonder.
otherthen from category Mangroves and Landscapes: Dream Mangrove Life by Melody Roberts, USA.
Sunrise reflections at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Florida.
Winner from Mangroves and wildlife: take offJayakumar MN, United Arab Emirates
The great flamingo (Phoenicopterus roseus) embarks on a migratory journey through Asia, most likely returning to the same coastal wetlands in the winter months.
otherthen mangroves and wildlife: Eshoulder blades, Priscila Forone, Brazil
The preserved mangroves of Guaraqueçaba are an important site for visitors, including this pair of pink spoonbills (Platalea ajaja).
Winner of category mangroves and Debit dWater: Blue Crab, Martin Broen, Mexico
The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) hunts in the unique transition between fresh and salt water in the Mexican cenotes.
During an exploratory dive through dark flooded caves, the photographer says he came across this crab standing proudly by the mangrove roots.
otherthen from Mangroves and underwater: On the border, Jillian E Morris, Bahamas
The photographer says she wanted to show the other side of these young lemon sharks: the social side, the more vulnerable side.
All images are subject to copyright.
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