A mangrove is more than just a tree ...
it's a whole forest community which lives between the sea and the land.
For many people, mangroves look like muddy, swampy places filled
with mosquitoes, snakes and spiders. But take a closer look....
Walking through a mangrove can be like going on a giant treasure hunt.
Hidden within the twisted vines and branches are amazing reptiles,
wild looking insects and plenty of crabs and other animals which call
the mangroves their home.
Besides being a wonderful place to explore, mangroves are also
important from an ecological standpoint. The Australian Institute
of Marine Science has a number of fascinating research projects
under way in an effort to better understand mangroves, for example:
Biologists estimate 75% of the commercially caught fish and prawns
spend at least some part of their life cycle living in the mangroves.
For many species of fish, like the sea mullet and barramundi, the
muddy waters of the mangroves are the nurseries where they raise
their young. Because fish are so dependent on mangroves, protecting
these forest communities is another way of protecting our fish