12 Apr 2010:
Threats to Mangrove Species
Growing Rapidly Worldwide, Report Says
One in six mangrove species faces extinction as coastal ecosystems are being destroyed or damaged by
development, aquaculture, logging, and climate change, according to a new study. Following an extensive survey of coastal ecosystems, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and
Mangroves in Madagascar
Conservation International placed 11 of 70 mangrove species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Mangrove forests, which grow in tropical and subtropical regions where salt water meets the land, protect coastal environments from erosion and storms, and serve as a nursery for marine species. On the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of Central America, as many as 40 percent of mangrove species are threatened, the report said. “The potential loss of these species is a symptom of widespread destruction and exploitation of mangrove forests,” said Beth Polidoro of Old Dominion University and lead author of the study, which is published in the journal PloSONE.
“Mangroves form one of the most important tropical habitats that support many species, and their loss can affect marine and terrestrial biodiversity much more widely.”
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