The Mangrove Action Project has announced the winners of the 2020 Mangrove Photography Award, with the grand prize going to Victor Hugo Luja Molina, who captured an incredible wildlife photograph of a female jaguar with her cub. However, Victor wasn't the only wildlife photographer to feature in this year's awards, with images of crocodiles and flamingos also making a welcome appearance.
The Mangrove Photography Awards were created to give an insight into the world of mangroves from all over the world. This year's entries help to capture the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests. They also help show the fragility of these unique ecosystems from both above and below the water.
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Victor Hugo Luja Molina's winning shot was taken in a mangrove forest in Mexico. Jaguars are rarely seen in mangroves, which is part of what makes Victor's shot so special. However, its the tender moment between the female jaguar and its cub that makes this wildlife photograph so powerful.
As well as celebrating the beautiful landscapes and wildlife that mangroves produce, the Mangrove Photography Awards also highlights the threat that these unique environments face. Matthew Potenski is the winner of the 'Mangroves & Threats' category for his image 'Mangrove & Bulldozer'.
Matthew said, "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 fill. This development had no building permits and is indicative of how projects can move forward and do damage without any legal authority."
Cristina Mittermeier, one of the judges of the Mangrove Photography Awards, says that these awards offer "a chance for photographers to raise their voices for the protection of one of the most critical and threatened ecosystems. Through impactful imagery and visual storytelling, we can rally people to action, sparking empathy and connection to our natural world.
The group behind the awards, the Mangrove Action Project, has advocated for the conservation and restoration of global mangrove forests since 1992, working with coastal communities, scientists, NGOs and governments to help improve mangrove practices globally. You can find out more information on how to support them at their website.
Meanwhile, you can see a selection of the winning images from the 2020 Mangrove Photography Awards below. Alternatively, view the full collection on the Mangrove Action Project website.
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