Mangroves: Photographic winners showcase the beauty of ecosystems


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Musafiq Rahman has been named overall winner of this year’s Mangrove Photography Awards, for his photo of a wild honey collector subduing giant honeybees with smoke, in Bangladesh.

image source, applaud Rahman |

managed by mangrove work projectThe competition – now in its seventh year – aims to show the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests, as well as the fragility of these unique ecosystems, above and below the water line.

Rahman’s winning photo, “Brave Life,” was selected from over 1,300 entries from 65 countries.

“Indigenous Mawal honey collectors, who are protected by Bunbebe, the goddess of the jungle, must avoid the dangers (Bengal tigers and saltwater crocodiles) lurking in the mangroves,” says Rahman.

“This ancient tradition and sustainable relationship between people and mangrove forests occurs in the Sundarbans of Bangladesh, as well as in India.”

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

Forests also protect coastlines from erosion with increased frequency of severe storms.

“Today, less than half of the world’s original mangrove forest cover remains,” says competition judge Robert Irwin.

“It has never been more important to promote the preservation of these fragile ecosystems through inspiring photography.”

Below is a selection of winning photos from six categories of competitions, with descriptions by the photographers.

Mangroves & People Winner: Mangrove Propagators, by Mark Kevin Badius, Philippines

image source, Mark Kevin Badius

The sun sets along the coast after mangrove restoration and beach cleanup within the local community.

– Runner-up in Mangroves and People: Kayaking on Al Reem Island, by Houria Al Muflihi, United Arab Emirates.

image source, Houria Al-Mufli

Fascinated by the mangroves during our kayaking trip, we set up the drone to get a different perspective to reveal the absolutely calm blue waters among the mangroves.

Mangrove and People Highly Commended: Work In Progress, by Abhijit Chakraborty, India

image source, Abhijit Chakraborty

As climate change and sea-level rise threaten the future of the Sundarbans, building dams and mangrove basins has become one of people’s last hopes here.

Mangroves & Landscaping Winner: Autumn Tree, by Zohaib Anjum, United Arab Emirates

image source, Zohaib Anjum

Most of the mangroves are found along the UAE coast in Abu Dhabi, serving as the city’s “green lung”.

Runner-up in Mangroves and Landscapes: Mangroves at Dawn, by Melody Roberts, USA

image source, Melody Roberts

A quiet early morning moment at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge in Florida.

Highly Commended Mangroves and Landscape: Bright Stars Over the Mangrove, by Yusuf Bin Madi, Malaysia

image source, Youssef bin Madi

The Milky Way galaxy shines over a mangrove tree in Mersingh Beach, Pulau Mawar, Malaysia, an area that can only be reached on foot at low tide.

Mangroves and Wildlife Winner: Adaptation of the Bengal Tiger, by Arijit Das, India

image source, Arijit Das

After four days of tracking down the elusive Bengal tiger, we were finally able to predict where this individual might cross a stream.

Runner-up in Mangroves and Wildlife: Dancing Mudskipper, by Liu Liu, Taiwan

image source, Liu Liu

The two birds were electrocuted during a fight for land, by a cheerful individual dancing.

This amphibian fish lives in mudflats and mangrove ecosystems.

Winner in Mangroves and Underwater: Shelter, by Shane Gross, Bahamas

image source, Shane Gross

Green sea turtles take shelter in the mangroves.

Green turtles are born on beaches, grow in the open ocean, eat seaweed and hide in mangroves and coral reefs.

Protecting these ecosystems is fundamental to protecting these species.

Runner-up in the Mangroves and Underwater: A Rare and Accidental Encounter, by Lorenzo Mitiga, Netherlands Antilles

image source, Lorenzo Mitiga

Rare encounter with a frog outside its natural habitat.

Commonly related to Sargassum seaweed, the frogfish floats and travels on algae thousands of miles from the Atlantic Ocean.

Highly praised mangroves and underwater: the upside-down jellyfish in the mangroves, by Lorenzo Mitiga, Netherlands Antilles

image source, Lorenzo Mitiga

Mangrove habitats are essential to many different marine creatures, including the gorgeous and colorful upside-down jellyfish.

Mangroves Winner and Threats: Garbage on Mangroves, by Mark Kevin Badios, Philippines

image source, Mark Kevin Badius

The plastic problem in this part of the world is huge, mangroves are under threat, and they are slowly suffocating in plastic waste.

Second Place in Mangroves and Threats: Broken Mangrove, by Dhany Darmansyah Saragih, Indonesia

image source, Dhany Darmansyah Saragih

Locals cut down mangroves for fuel and building materials for boats and homes.

Over the past three decades, Indonesia has lost 40% of its mangrove forests.

Highly Commended Mangroves and Threats: The Reflected Threat, by Marcelo Costa Soares, Brazil

image source, Marcelo Soares

The picture in the photo shows the reflection of the biggest threat to Brazil’s largest urban mangrove swamp: real estate speculation in conservation areas.

Mangroves & Youth Award Winner: Coastal Phantom, by Caleb Hoover, USA

image source, Caleb Hoover

A railway runs for cover in a patch of coastal red mangroves.

The elusive bird has not been seen in the area for more than six years, but this bird has found safety and solitude in a small stretch of mangroves on the Florida coast.

Runners-up in mangroves and youth: what has emerged? Written by Lucas Oh Hao Chiang, Singapore

image source, Lucas Oh Hao Xiang

Mangroves are essential for reptiles, such as the Malay Water Watcher, to thrive in the city’s limited coastal green spaces.

All images are subject to copyright.


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