Striking photo of a flamingo taking off from a UAE mangrove wins international award

The winners of the Mangrove Photographer of the Year Awards have been announced

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A beautiful photograph of a greater flamingo taking off from a UAE mangrove has been recognised at the Mangrove Photography Awards 2022.

Jayakumar MN's shot, Take Off, is of a bird about to embark on its migratory journey across Asia, with it most likely to return to the same coastal wetlands come winter.

"It was feeding with its head in the water, before flying off into the morning light," said MN, who bagged top prize in the Mangroves & Wildlife category.

Scroll through the gallery above to see all the winners of this year's Mangrove Photography Awards

Runner-up in the category was Priscila Forone, from Brazil, whose photograph Colhereiro is of a pair of roseate spoonbills perched in the trees of preserved mangroves in Guaraquecaba.

Runner Up, Priscila Forone, Brazil, Mangroves & Wildlife. Photo: Priscila Forone / Mangrove Photography Awards

This year's is the eighth annual Mangrove Photography Awards, launched by Mangrove Action Project, and it invites photographers of all skill levels around the world to contribute images of the forests in a bid to inspire action to conserve them.

"The images from this year captivated our imagination ... giving us hope and illuminating a positive future for mangrove ecosystems," said judge Octavio Aburto. "Today, less than half the world’s original mangrove forest cover remains, and it has never been more important to promote the conservation of these fragile ecosystems."

There are six categories: Mangroves & Humans, Mangroves & Landscape, Mangroves & Underwater, Mangroves & Conservation, Mangroves & Wildlife and a new one, Mangroves & Stories, which showcases a photographer's portfolio of work.

There are also awards for Mangrove Photographer of the Year and Young Mangrove Photographer of the Year.

The winners were chosen from 2,188 photos this year and were judged by conservation and wildlife photographers Octavio Aburto, Beverly Joubert, Dhritiman Mukherjee, Bertie Gregory and Nadia Aly.

The overall winner was Tanya Houppermans, whose Guardians of the Mangroves, shot in Cuba, depicts an "intimate moment" between a curious crocodile and the photographer at Gardens of the Queen (Jardines De La Reina), an archipelago off the coast of the island that has been strictly protected since 1996.

Overall Winner, Tanya Houppermans, Cuba. Photo: Tanya Houppermans / Mangrove Photography Awards

Two other shots from the UAE were shortlisted for the prize and both came highly commended in the Mangroves & Landscape category. These were Behind the City by Shyjith Kannur, which shows the Abu Dhabi skyline in the background, and Tree of Life by Amar Habeeb.

Highly Commended, Mangroves & Landscape, Amar Habeeb, UAE. Photo: Amar Habeeb / Mangrove Photography Awards

In the Mangroves & Humans category, Muhammad Mostafigur Rahman from Bangladesh won for his shot called Honey Hunters, of men who collect wild honey deep in the mangroves of the Sundarbans.

For Mangroves & Landscape, Loic Dupuis won for Walakiri Dancing Trees, shot in Indonesia, along the peaceful beaches of East Sumba.

Blue Crab, by Martin Broen, shot in Mexico, took top place in Mangroves & Underwater, while New Normal, a striking image by Kei Miyamoto of a water monitor lizard in an Indonesian mangrove surrounded by plastic waste, bagged Mangroves & Conservation.

For Mangroves & Stories, Lorenzo Mittiga's series from the Netherlands Antilles of a mangrove restoration project came in the top spot.

It was another shot from Indonesia, called Healthy Ecosystem, that won Fakhrizal Setiawan the award for Young Mangrove Photographer of the Year. It shows college students from North Sulawesi taking part in a zonation exercise, discovering the relationships between mangroves, coral reefs and seagrasses.

Scroll through the gallery below to see winners from 2022 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Updated: November 02, 2022, 10:02 AM