Mangroves face many threats around the world – development, conversion for coastal aquaculture, and drifting urban pollution.
According to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, out of the total mangrove areas in Malaysia, Sabah covers 57% followed by Sarawak 26% and Peninsular Malaysia 17% (Chan et al. 1993, Kathiresan & Rajendran 2005). In Peninsular Malaysia, a total of 86,454 ha of mangrove areas were gazetted as forest reserve where Perak has the largest area (47.8%) followed by Johor (20.6%), Selangor (17.3%) and Kedah (9.2%) (Forestry Department 2001).
Climate change also poses significant problems for mangrove forests as rising sea levels threaten to wash away these low-lying, coastal forests, an important breeding ground for marine fauna.
On July 26th 2016, UNESCO celebrated its first International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.
Prior to UNESCO’s proclamation of this international day, MNS Marine SIG has been actively involved in promoting the importance of the mangrove ecosystem through various activities including mangrove walks during Raptor Watch and its publications: A Visitor’s Guide to Kuala Selangor Nature Park (2003) and the handy water-resistant field guide Mangroves of Peninsular Malaysia – a guide to commonly seen species (2014).