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Friday, October 28, 2011

And finally… presenting Mangrove Management at the WIOMSA symposium

The final poster GVI Kenya has presented in Mombasa thisweek , at the WIOMSA scientific symposium is regarding the biodiversity and utilisation of mangrove resources on Wasini Island. Mangroves are forests tolerant to saline water, growing on tropical coastlines and providing essential resources for coastal communities; in addition they exhibit high biodiversity of flora and fauna species, and maintain the ecological integrity of other marine habitats.
Mangrove habitats exhibit high biodiversity
Mangrove habitats exhibit high biodiversity.
Over the past 8 months, we have been surveying the tree species found in the mangrove habitats present on Wasini, as well as the canopy coverage, DBH of trees and canopy height. Results indicate the dominant tree species to be Rhizophora mucronata with a total of 8 mangrove species present. Canopy cover is relatively high at between 70-90% with mean canopy height at 4m.
Alongside this we will be presenting the data collected from a series of mangrove interviews within the local community – all 30 interviewees reported use of mangrove wood for construction, with 50% and 35% also using it for domestic fuel and fishing equipment. Ceriops tagal (Yellow Mangrove) was reported as the species most frequently harvested, but the least abundant in our tree species survey. 78% of those interviewed also commented that coverage has declined over the last 10 years. The mangroves present on Wasini Island represent both an environmentally and economically important habitat for the Mkwiro community, but more effective management might be needed to ensure it’s sustainability.