The winners of the 2022 Mangrove Photography Awards have been announced with a close-up portrait of an American crocodile in Cuba taking being crowned the overall winner.
Tanya Houpperman had a close encounter with the crocodile among luscious mangroves at Gardens of the Queen, a protected archipelago off the coast of Cuba.
“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. I hope this image can illustrate that protecting areas like this is so critical,” says Houpperman.
The Mangrove Photography Awards, run by the Mangrove Action Project, is in its eighth year. Over 2,000 images were submitted from 68 countries.
Mangroves are a group of trees and shrubs that live in coastal intertidal zones. The trees grow in areas with low-oxygen soil, where slow-moving waters allow fine sediments to accumulate. Mangrove forests only grow in tropical zones.
“The photos are a compelling reminder of the importance of mangroves for the diversity of life across our coastlines as photographers captured unique relationships and moments from mangrove ecosystems both above and below the water line,” writes the Mangrove Action Project.
“The Mangrove Photography Awards has become a platform to intrigue people about the magnificent ecological role mangroves play in all of our lives”, adds judge Dhritiman Mukherjee.
The full gallery of winners can be viewed here.