Report – EV1001 – Mangroves

Stefan Mårtensson, 990918


2000 birds are missing at the South Bank colony!!!!

The fact is that Ibis and the Egret bird species might never come back to the South Bank colony !!

All this according to the RIVER group, whish is Ross Island Volunteers For Estuarine Research!!

I am going to talk about the RIVER group and South Bank colony.

They are monitoring the life in the estuaries of the Townsville Coastal Plains and try to raise awareness among people like you and me, of the richness and diversity of the Ross River catchment.

The RIVER group volunteers do a lot of different things, everything from assisting with school programs and lead guided walks and talks for the public to collecting information about the health of the local river systems.

The good thing about this dispersal of awareness, to the public is that you’ll get an understanding among the public, and when you get that the government will open there eyes and put some money into it, when the public demands it.

The bad thing is, that it will increase the amount of people going out in the area, disturbing the animals during breeding time and that can have catastrophic outcome.

The volunteers are trained at seminars to be able to collect data on mangrove trees, birds, bats, fish, gastropods, crustaceans and the water quality of the river systems.

They conduct monitoring programs, field surveys and studies to discover how;

  • Ibis, Egret and the Flying fox species roosting and breeding at the South Bank colony.
  • The distribution of mudwhelks and fiddler crabs in the mangrove habitats along the Ross River.
  • The dispersal of different fish species, in the river.

And mapping the saltmarshes and the mangrove forests, and the mangrove forest is not a very loved kind of forest…

Of many reasons, 1. Very muddy!! 2. Very hard to go into and it’s tight 3. Very hostile environment, with predators, like spiders and wasps, a lot of big birds that may not be that happy to get company. And 4. Just think about this “food-table” so it would be very odd if there wasn’t any big predators like croks in this kind of area.

So why dont we just chop it down?

And build houses, shopping centers, car parks maybe a sport center.

NO !!! The mangroves are very important to us, Why?

You have just heard the reason, the diversity is really huge!!

Birds, bats, fish, gastropods, crustaceans, not to forget all the different species of plants.

The mangroves support a large amount of life.

Coastal wetlands, i.e. mangroves, saltmarshes, seagrass flats, mudbanks and sandbanks act as a natural channels transferring nutrients from the land to the sea. They are the nursery grounds for juvenile marine life which support both the recreational and the commercial fishing.

Many fish and prawns start there life in the mangroves to later live there life out at sea, returning only to spawn.

Save the Australian mangroves, you get it back many times over.

Australia’s commercial fishing industry wouldn’t exist, if we don’t save it!

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