Steely gaze of young tigress wins photo award

Soham Bhattacharyya has been named overall winner of this year’s Mangrove Photography Awards, for his image of an endangered tigress in the Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve, India.

Run by the Mangrove Action Project, the competition – now in its ninth year – aims to show the relationships between wildlife, coastal communities and mangrove forests, as well as the fragility of these unique ecosystems, both above and below the waterline.

Mr Bhattacharyya’s winning image, called The Finest Flower of the Mangroves, shows a young Royal Bengal tigress in its natural mangrove habitat, peering at the photographer.

“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,” said competition judge Daisy Gilardini.

In 2021, West Bengal Forest Department estimated there were only 96 Royal Bengal tigers in the region.

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