Protect these lands: Beautiful photos of threatened landscapes and wildlife

As the human population continues to grow there is a chance that fewer land and sea areas will be protected.

National Geographic magazine is famous for its stunning photographs of wildlife and nature. Some of its most spectacular images were submitted by its readers via the online photo community, Your Shot. Readers are currently being invited to show off their photos of places they believe need to be protected, using the hashtag #protecttheselands. IBTimes UK presents a small selection of some of the best photos. See more – and submit your own – here.

Jassen T: Struggling. "Since the mid-70s, the Navajo Generating power plant has been providing electrical power to people across three states. It has also been one of the main employers for members of the Navajo Nation. But the plant's future looks bleak: it is due to shut down operations at the end of 2019 due to concerns that coal power is not economically viable, with many utilities turning towards cheaper and cleaner burning fuels like natural gas. With Trump in power, thousands hope they won't lose their jobs."Jassen T / National Geographic Your Shot
Mike Leske: Arctic Reflections Mike Leske / National Geographic Your Shot
Alexander Koenig: Sørfjord, Norway. "The Sørfjord is a beautiful place in Norway, most famous for an over-photographed 10m long ledge looking over a 700m deep precipice called Trolltunga. Sadly this spot gets mistreated like few other places I have seen during my trekking tours. There is plastic waste – and worse – everywhere. So please, always abide by the 'leave no trace' rules during hikes."Alexander Koenig / National Geographic Your Shot
Manish Mamtani: Art in Nature. "I was in Alaska for the Northern lights and the place didn't disappoint me at all. This image was created at Chena lakes recreation area near Fairbanks. A lot of people gathered here to get a view of northern lights and it was an amazing show, even with a full moon. As there was no wind, the reflection of the lights could be seen in the lake as well."Manish Mamtani / National Geographic Your Shot
Danny Sepkowski: Malama. "A Manta Ray makes its way past me in Tahiti. Is it weird that a photographer from Hawaii goes to Tahiti to find clear water to shoot in? Believe it or not Hawaii does not always have the clearest or cleanest water. Pollution is a problem in Hawaii and people do not even realise it. Mother Nature is precious and we must "Malama the Aina" which translates to "keep the land pure" in Hawaiian."Danny Sepkowski / National Geographic Your Shot
Mara Bartlett Asenjo: Reflecting on Lake Clark. "This massive rock, named Gull Rock, sits near the shore in Lake Clark. As the waters rise and fall between Spring and Summer it becomes a time-keeper. At times it becomes completely immersed in these glacial waters, and towards the end of summer the water recedes and Gull Rock becomes visible again. This predictability and consistency helps the locals keep track of the season. As weather patterns change and everything is less predictable, uncertainty creeps in and disrupts the calm."Mara Bartlett Asenjo / National Geographic Your Shot
Abbas Rastegar: Drying damAbbas Rastegar / National Geographic Your Shot
Mark Cote: Desert Storm II. "Taken behind Stovepipe Wells Campground Death Valley National Park. There was a storm approaching early that morning and a few sprinkles in the valley but some snow on the surrounding hills."Mark Cote / National Geographic Your Shot
Felix Malte Dorn: What do we really need...? "What do we really need to live and to enjoy life? For the most intense experiences I don't need much: They make me appreciate the beauty around us. In this case, we spent the night close to Tre Cime di Lavaredo in South Tyrol, Italy, one of the most beautiful rock formations of the Dolomites, a symbol of the region. Its prominence is also its problem, as the place is very crowded during the day."Felix Malte Dorn / National Geographic Your Shot
Masafumi Yoneda: Underwater Palace. "This photo was taken in Zamami Island, Okinawa, South part of Japan. It's famous for its huge coral reef, but it is facing with coral bleaching due to global warming."Masafumi Yoneda / National Geographic Your Shot
Manish Mamtani: Morning Glory. Yellowstone National Park.Manish Mamtani / National Geographic Your Shot
Tom McDermott: Afternoon Light at Taft Point. "I set up at this spot near Taft Point in Yosemite National Park for hours watching the light change and tourists walk out to the ledge to stare and have their pictures taken. The juxtaposition of the small people on the ledge with the light rays and massive valley below remind me how overpowering nature can be."Tom McDermott / National Geographic Your Shot
Matt & Agnes Hage: Good Morning! "Surprise visitor during breakfast as we watched the sunrise on the West Rim of Zion National Park."Matt & Agnes Hage / National Geographic Your Shot
Manish Mamtani: Thunderstorm - Monument Valley. "I was lucky to see a sand storm, thunderstorm, rainbow and clear night sky in a single day in Monument Valley."Manish Mamtani / National Geographic Your Shot
Tyler Fielstra: Wild Places. "The protected North Coyote Buttes wilderness in Arizona will give anyone one of those 'pinch me to see if I am dreaming' moments. After the 4th attempt at the lottery to get in, my nephew and I got lucky."Tyler Fielstra / National Geographic Your Shot
Christopher Borel: Rush Hour. "One of my favourite subject to shoot in the Southern California waters is schooling bait fish on the Eureka Oil Rig. When I'm photographing underwater I'm always looking for a new angle to shoot my subjects. As sore as the oil rigs look from off our SoCal coastline, they are inhabited by countless species of life. I have no doubt that these inhabitants that call this place home should be protected."Christopher Borel / National Geographic Your Shot
Sudipta Shaw: American Serengeti. "I made this image in August 2014 in the Hayden valley, Yellowstone National Park. It was around 8am when we saw this herd of bison crossing a river and then going up on the hill nearby it. So pulled over our car on a viewpoint and I started taking pictures. The evaporating steam coming out of their bodies in combination of back-lighting gave this surreal effect."Sudipta Shaw / National Geographic Your Shot

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