Gulf of Guinea Mangroves
About the Area
These mangroves play an important role as nursery areas for fishes and shrimp; moreover, they are important factors in stabilising the shoreline.
Vegetation is dominated by Rhizophora racemosa. Other residents include a variety of fishes, birds, and invertebrates, and species such as West African manatee (Trichechus senegalensis), African slender-snouted crocodile (Crocodylus cataphractus), Nile crocodile (Crocodylus niloticus), Cape clawless otter (Aonyx capensis), Cuvier's fire-footed squirrel (Funisciurus pyrropus), African fish-eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer), and African skimmer (Rynchops flavirostris).
Threats include urbanisation, industrialisation, agriculture, timber and petroleum exploitation, dynamite and poison fishing, canalisation, discharge of sewage and other pollutants, siltation, sand mining, erosion, construction of embankments - all because of population pressure in the coastal zone. Oil spills and development projects have led to large mortalities of invertebrates and fishes.
Western African Coast: Angola, Cameroon, DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, and Nigeria
How do mangroves help stabilise shorelines?
Mangrove trees spread their large, spindly roots beneath the surface of the water and trap sediment that would otherwise be washed offshore and out to sea.