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International Year of Forests

(January 1st, 2011 - December 31st, 2013)

Richard Chesher

Fern Forest New Caledonia

Richard Chesher

Mangrove Forest in New Caledonia

Baie du Carenage, Baie du Prony, Grande Terre, New Caledonia

August 31, 2011, 11:57 am

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© 2011 Richard Chesher, All Rights Reserved.

Mangrove forests play an essential role in the ecology of the New Caledonia Lagoon. They provide a nursery area for a multitude of fish and invertebrates and form a bio-filter that helps to reduce the movement of sediments from the land to the sea. Mangrove trees have special roots and other physiological adaptations that enable them to live in salt water environments.

Mangrove areas have been subjected to extensive damage throughout the tropics during the last hundred years. They have been filled in for a variety of reasons, including road building, land reclamation, waste disposal, and aquaculture. Mangrove forests have also been cut down for firewood or used as peri-urban slums. Mangrove forests are considered to be a seriously endangered ecosystem.

This particular mangrove area is in protected embayment on the southeastern end of the New Caledonia Island Grande Terre. It is an estuary for a river which has no human habitation anywhere on its watershed.

Unlike many estuaries the water here is normally clear and free of sediment. Fish and huge mangrove crabs are found in the roots of the mangroves. If you look right down into the roots you can see two mangrove crabs just below the surface of the water.
Canon 5D, Sigma 8mm, Nodal Ninja pano head clamped to a mangrove root.

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