Photography award winners show the fragility and beauty of mangrove forestson September 26, 2020 at 11:42 pm

Victor Hugo Luja Molina has been named overall winner of this year’s Mangrove Photography Awards, for his image of a female jaguar in an intimate moment with her cub in a mangrove forest in Mexico.

A photo at night time of a jaguar and a cub in a mangrove forest

image copyrightVictor Hugo Luja Molina

Run by the Mangrove Action Project, the competition, now in its sixth year, aims to show the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities, and mangrove forests, as well as the fragility of these unique ecosystems, both above and below the waterline.

Luja Molina’s winning image, Once Again Being a Mother, was selected from more than 1,000 entries from nearly 70 countries.

“I love this picture because it shows the mangrove roots, the mangrove forest in detail and at night,” says Luja Molina.

“This is one of the very few photos that exist of jaguars in mangrove ecosystems.

“After two years of failed attempts with the camera trap – blurry images, partial shots and lost cameras – Janis, a female resident mangrove jaguar, finally gave us a great moment with one of her cubs.

“The mangrove ecosystem in western Mexico is facing huge conservation problems, with so much land-use change, including illegal shrimp farms.”

Mangroves are an important protection against climate change, with one acre (4,000 sq m) of mangrove forest absorbing nearly the same amount of carbon dioxide as an acre of Amazon rainforest.

The forests also protect coastlines from eroding as intense storms grow more frequent.

Judge Steve Winter says: “Mangroves are such a vitally important part of the ecosystem, they are the nursery for many aquatic species.

“The health of these ecosystems are vital to human and animal health.”

Here is a selection of winning images from five competition categories, with descriptions by the photographers.

2px presentational grey line
An underwater photo of a crocodile swimming amongst mangrove roots

image copyrightJenny Stock

A beautiful and powerful animal, an American crocodile, seen in his home, the mangroves of Jardines de la Reina, Cuba.

This was my first in-water encounter with a crocodile.

And it was completely exhilarating.

Being up close with such a wild and powerful animal would make your heart race.

2px presentational grey line
An underwater photo of two young lemon sharks amongst mangrove roots

image copyrightAnita Kainrath

Juvenile lemon sharks in Bimini, Bahamas, using mangrove-fringed lagoons and creeks as nurseries.

2px presentational grey line
A group of adults and children in the waters near mangrove trees

image copyrightMorgan Bennett-Smith

Local boys gather in front of a small mangrove-associated outcropping along the coast of Papua New Guinea.

Coastal ecosystems here rely on a community-based system of conservation and protection.

The local people value their ecosystems and protect them.

2px presentational grey line
Two women stand in the waters in a mangrove forest holding buckets for collecting oysters

image copyrightRicci Shryock

A portrait of Ndira and Teresa, of the Bijagos community, in Guinea-Bissau, west Africa, who are part of a women’s group who wade through water among the mangroves during low tide to look for oysters.

The oysters are then sold or sometimes used in traditional ceremonies.

2px presentational grey line
A landscape shot of mangrove trees at jaunty angles looking as though they are dancing

image copyrightHarry Pieters

A unique mangrove sunset scene along Walakiri Beach, in East Sumba, Indonesia, where the trees sway across a stretch of white sand.

2px presentational grey line
A landscape shot of a mangrove forest with a winding river passing through it with a volcano in the distance

image copyrightChris Scarffe

The mangroves and meandering rivers of north-west Madagascar, from the air, in early morning light, with the dramatic volcanic island of Nosy Komba in the background.

2px presentational grey line
A shot of a mangrove sapling growing out of the water with a bulldozer on land in the background

image copyrightMatthew D Potenski

I took this split shot of a sand-spit being built across a shallow lagoon.

By the next day, the mangrove shoot pictured was buried under piles of sand fill.

This development had no building permits and is indicative of how projects can move forward and do damage without any legal authority.

This image always seems to elicit a strong emotional reaction in people.

2px presentational grey line
A flock of flamingos feed in water with a block of flats reflected in the background

image copyrightVidyasagar Hariharan

The remaining mangroves in Mumbai are under threat.

Here, flamingos are seen feeding in a wetland, with the reflection of buildings – a grim testimony of the struggle and loss of habitat these birds are facing.

2px presentational grey line
An aerial view of thousands of flamingos in water with blocks of flats on the bank next to them

image copyrightPratik Chorge

With reduced human activity this year, a record number of flamingos made the journey across to Mumbai, India.

Talawe Wetlands was given an extra pink spectacle, after microscopic algae and bacteria mixed with the rising humidity and turned parts of the water pink.

2px presentational grey line
A portrait showing a fisherman sitting on a stilted structure in a mangrove forest

image copyrightRoshni Lodhia

Rangers on Pate Island, Kenya, are tasked to patrol the mangrove areas for illegal mangrove logging.

2px presentational grey line
A tiger steps into water from the edge of a mangrove forest

image copyrightSoham Bhattacharyya

The tiger is the biggest mystery of mangroves.

Local villagers consider the tigers as “God” because they protect the jungle from any human threat.

2px presentational grey line
A landscape of dead mangrove trees beneath a cloudy sky

image copyrightShane Gross

In 2017, Puerto Rico was hit by hurricanes Irma and Maria, just two weeks apart.

Large swaths of mangroves near Cabo Rojo were killed and have not recovered three years later.

2px presentational grey line
A young woman tends to a mangrove sapling in mud

image copyrightVictor Fidelis Sentosa

Youth nowadays need to be more aware of the mangrove ecosystem and its function.

Campaigns and socialisation must also come with actions for a brighter future.

2px presentational grey line
An aerial view of a mangrove forest on the left and a patchwork of brown aquaculture ponds on the right

image copyrightSrikanth Mannepuri

Conversion of mangrove forests into commercial aquaculture ponds is the biggest threat to mangroves.

2px presentational grey line
Oyster collectors work on the floor of a mangrove forest

image copyrightRicci Shryock

Sona Sedja, 29, washes the oysters she has collected before taking them to market.

Sedja uses the income to support herself and her two children.

2px presentational grey line
An underwater photo of sponges around mangrove roots

image copyrightAlvaro Herrero Lopez-Beltran

2px presentational grey line
An aerial view of a mangrove forest with various river tributaries

image copyrightJanos Leo G. Andanar

A tourist boat in the middle of the mangrove in Siargao Island, Philippines.

Tourists are not just enjoying surfing the waves of the island but also the vast mangrove forest with clear waters for them to explore.

All pictures copyright.

Read MoreFeedzy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *