Run by the Mangrove Action Project, the competition – now in its eighth year – aims to show the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests, as well a Mangrove forests: Crocodile close-up in Cuba wins photo awards s the fragility of these unique ecosystems, both above and below the waterline.
Gardens of the Queen is an archipelago off the coast of Cuba and has been strictly protected since 1996.
It is one of the most untouched marine ecosystems in the world.
“The healthy population of American crocodiles is down to the pristine condition of the mangroves, and I wanted to capture close-ups of this gentle giant in its natural habitat,” said Ms Houppermans.
‘I hope this image can illustrate that protecting areas like this is so critical.”
Mangroves are an important protection against climate change, with one acre (4,000q 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.
“The Mangrove Photography Awards has become a platform to intrigue people about the magnificent ecological role mangroves play in all of our lives”, said judge Dhritiman Mukherjee.
Fellow judge Octavio Aburto added: “The images from this year captivated our imagination… giving us hope and illuminating a positive future for mangrove ecosystems.”
Here is a selection of winning images from seven competition categories, with descriptions by the photographers.Read More