New Guinea Mangroves

About the Area

Two of the largest, the Fly River and the Sepik River, flow for more than 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) from the mountains to the sea.
As the freshwater from these and other rivers and streams enters the surrounding ocean, it creates a mix of brackish water that makes life thrive in the New Guinea Mangroves.

Like most mangrove forests in Papua New Guinea, the mangroves in the Sepik Delta are sparsely populated and relatively intact.

The mangroves of Irian Jaya - Indonesia's portion of the island of New Guinea to the west are presently the largest in the world.

Since mangrove trees trap soil and spread their dense, spindly roots throughout the water, the New Guinea Mangroves stabilise shorelines and provide habitat for many unusual species.

Local Species
Species include Black palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterimus), Papuan hanging-parrot (Loriculus aurantiifrons), the endemic Red-breasted paradise-kingfisher (Tanysiptera nympha) and Red-billed brush-turkey (Talegalla cuvieri), and Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).

More than 30 species of mangrove trees have been recorded from a single mangrove swamp on Southern New Guinea.

Threats
Although largely intact, mangroves on Irian Jaya have recently come under threat of pollution from oil and gas industries, exploitation, and possible destruction related to wood chip production.

Resources

Size:
N/A

Habitat type:
Mangroves

Geographic Location:
River deltas and other coastal regions on the island of New Guinea, in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea

Conservation Status:
Relatively Stable/Intact

Quiz Time!

What is so unique about the Sepik River?

Answer:
Although not one of the world's longest rivers, the Sepik carries enough water in a year to place it among the largest. The river also transports mineral-rich soil nourishing valleys, swamps, and mangrove forests. By the time it ends its journey in the Pacific Ocean, the Sepik carries so much soil and other natural matter that the sea is discoloured for more than 30 km beyond the river's mouth!

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