The following article, SEE IT: Captivating Images Of Vanishing Ecosystems And Wildlife, was first published on Flag And Cross.
Stunning photos show life in the world’s disappearing mangroves including tigers, pink lagoons, plastic waste – and golfers.
The images from the Mangrove Photography Awards showcase why “urgent action” is needed to save the environment from vanishing forever.
Pictures from 72 countries around the world show life in a mangrove – a group of trees or shrubs along coastlines and tidal rivers.
Mangroves are tropical trees that exist in salty, coastal water conditions and have an ability to store vast amounts of carbon and provide a lifeline for wildlife.
Experts say mangrove forests are key weapons in the fight against climate change – but they are under threat worldwide.
The images include lemon sharks swimming in shallow mangrove forests in the Bahamas and pink lagoons in Columbia.
They also feature plastic pollution in Indonesia and a solitary Bangladeshi woman amidst a wrecked landscape – threatened with flooding from climate change.
The pictures also show some of the world’s most beautiful animals – as well as golfer players amid a mangrove in the UAE.
Soham Bhattacharyya – @soham_shutterup – was named the overall mangrove photographer winner.
His image ‘The Finest “Flower” of the Mangroves’ shows a lonesome endangered tigress in the Sundarbans, India.
Felipe Santander captured the image of remarkable pink mangrove lagoon in Colombia.
It has turned the distinctive color due to unique conditions in temperature, minerals and pink algae that are likely to become more common with climate change.
Felipe said: “In the least expected area of a mangrove in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, near Cartagena, a pink lagoon forms seasonally, given unique conditions of water ph, temperature, bird presence and light – a magical and unexpected sight.”
Another photograph by Emanuele Biggi, titled “The Theatre of Plastic,” won the mangroves and threats category.
The stark image shows a land hermit crab wandering around at night close to the beach of Pom Pom island in Malaysia – where every day plastic waste from Semporna city is deposited by sea currents.
Emanuele said: “I wanted to show the mess plastic is doing to this amazing place. When I found this poor hermit crab using a deodorant plastic plug instead of an empty shell, I knew I found my sad ambassador for this terrible human problem.”
Daisy Gilardini, a conservation photographer and one of the judges of the competition, described the photo as “captivating”.
Daisy said: “The solitary figure of the tiger, standing amidst the lush green mangrove forest vegetation, poignantly underscores the isolation it must endure in an ever-shrinking habitat.”
According to the organization, there are “perhaps only 200 of these magnificent animals in the Sundarbans mangrove forest” and “these iconic and endangered Bengals are the only tigers adapted to live in a mangrove habitat.”
Leo Thom, creative director of Mangrove Action Project, said the awards give a platform for photographers to speak up for the protection and conservation of mangroves – that affect both humans and wildlife.
He said: “Creatives continue to inspire us with their incredible shots that help raise awareness of the people and wildlife that rely on mangrove forests, the threats these ecosystems face, and why urgent action is needed to protect them.
“We use this platform to raise awareness of mangroves around the world.”
Now in its ninth year, the Mangrove Photography awards began as an external project of the Mangrove Action Project – who collaborate with stakeholders at all levels to preserve, conserve, and restore our world’s mangrove forests.
MAP are a non-for-profit based internationally, with members of the organization dotted around the globe in the UK and Philippines to the U.S. and Cayman islands.
Anyone can submit their images, and this year the awards received submissions from over 2,000 different photographers from 72 different nations.
Leo says the team were “thrilled” with the images they received – showcasing the beauty and global significance of mangrove ecosystems in a wide range of categories: from people, landscape, underwater, threats, wildlife and stories.
The Mangroves and Landscape winner, Cristiano Martins Xavier from Brazil, captured a beautiful photograph of ’emerging roots’ – hoping to highlight how mangroves around the world “face threats from deforestation, pollution, and climate change impacts, such as rising sea levels.”
The main focus of the Mangrove Action Project is to provide mangrove restoration training for people around the globe.
Leo said: “Mangrove planting is very tricky and very dynamic.
“We go in and provide restoration training for coastal communities, forestry officers, NGOs and more, and seek to improve their knowledge.
“It’s so important to know and understand the science to bring back a biodiverse forest where both animals and people can thrive.”
According to the action project, mangroves are a “critical” part of the ecosystem, especially in combatting the climate crisis.
Leo added: “The photos are a compelling reminder of the importance of mangroves for the diversity of life across our coastlines as photographs captured unique relationships and moments from mangrove ecosystems both above and below the water line.
“They’re also a stark reminder of our need to protect these unique and precious ecosystems.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Continue reading: SEE IT: Captivating Images Of Vanishing Ecosystems And Wildlife ...