Rare species of mangrove found in Maldives

Bruguiera hainesii | Photo: Vaguthu

HA. Kelaa, MaldivesBruguiera Hainesii, a critically endangered mangrove species has newly been found in the Maldives.

The Environment Ministry announced that this species of mangrove was found in the Maldives in March of this year in the lake area of HA. Kelaa during an ecological survey that was carried out to collect information on life of the protected areas in the Maldives.

The survey was carried out under the government project “Regenerate” which is fully funded by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), along with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Maldives.

According to the Environment Ministry a total of four trees from this species were found in the lake area of HA. Kelaa and were identified by IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group and MSG Red List Coordinator, Dr. Jean Yong.

Bruguiera Hainesii belongs to one of the two critically endangered mangrove species listed under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

A survey carried out in 2010 shows that only 200 trees of this species were found in the world. And the number has been declining since then. This species of Mangrove trees was found in Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malay Peninsula, Thailand and in Myanmar.

A report of this survey was prepared by the Environment Ministry along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and IUCN.

In the wetlands of Maldives 14 different types of mangroves have been identified. And Bruguiera hainesii adds on to become the 15th type of mangrove in the Maldives. There is a possibility for this type of mangrove to be found in other parts of the Maldives. A discussion for the local name for Bruguiera hainesii is being carried out.