Local name finalized for new mangrove species found in Maldives

Bruguiera hainesii now locally known as "Kelavaki" | Photo: Vaguthu

Male’, Maldives – A local name has been given to a rare species of mangrove knows as Bruguiera Hainesii was found in the Maldives recently. 

According to the Environment Ministry, the name was give by Dhivehi Bahuge Academy for Bruguiera Hainesii is “Kelavaki”. This name was derived after looking at names given for 14 other mangrove species in the Maldives and taking HA. Kelaa into account, which is where the rare species of mangrove was first found in the Maldives.

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

A total of four trees from the 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 Myanmar.