A silvery kingfisher sits on a branch.
The Agusan Marsh is a wetland ecosystem in the Philippines. It is home to many plants and animals. I come here to photograph them. More than 200 endemic and migratory birds live here. Some come from as far as China. It is also home to more than 100 species of flowering plants and trees. Plants and animals share this wetland with the Manobo Tribe. These indigenous people live in floating houses in the marsh.
During the rainy season, the land becomes a large bay. It stores rainwater. It shields the land from tropical storms. It protects towns from floods. It also filters the water and cleans it.
The sun is a fiery ball of gases.
Agusan Marsh is a protected area. Yet, it is in trouble. Climate change is a constant threat. The water level of the marshes is falling due to drought. But storms have caused flooding in some places. This destroys the stilt houses in floating villages.
A purple swamphen rests amid water lilies.
A brahminy kite soars above the Agusan River.
There are other challenges, too. Marshes are being burned to clear the land for building. As a result, roosting sites of birds called egrets have been disturbed by smoke and ash.
The burning also releases tons of carbon into the air. This increases temperatures.
The Manobo live in houses that rest on the water.
Strength in Community
All is not lost, however. The Manobo and people who care about the environment are working together. They want to protect the marsh.
They are supporting environmental laws. They are putting an end to many harmful practices. They are showing respect for the marsh.