You don’t have to go very far in far north Queensland to find mangroves. Our state is home to almost half of Australia’s mangrove areas, most here in FNQ. They’re not the gentlest of places – stifling hot, teeming with mozzies and sandflies, and there’s a good chance that slide mark in the mud was made by a crocodile who’s had an eye on you for a while now.
Mangroves are not everyone’s cup of tea – but I love them. Great for a get away from it all wander, and if you go with some info on just how these plants live in such harsh conditions, it’s a fascinating journey.
Mangroves are trees and shrubs that grow along our coasts in saline sediment habitats. They live between the high and low tide lines, where trees ought not flourish. But these species have adapted to a tough environment and play a really important role in the life of our sea creatures. About 70 per cent of the fish and seafood we eat uses mangroves for breeding or shelter.
ABC Far North wildlife correspondent Dr Martin Cohen explains why mangroves exist, how they work, and why they’re so important.