If you are visiting New Caledonia and are interested in a botanical tour to discover its flora and fauna, we recommend you to visit its mangrove forest.
The mangrove forest is not endemic to New Caledonia but nonetheless it is a vital environment, unique and often mysterious.
The mangrove forest offers a protection of coastline from cyclones, and acts as a buffer between the lagoon and mountain mining areas. Mangrove trees grow with their bases submerged in water and have developed all sorts of adaptations that allow them to live in inundated, and extremely salty conditions. They are also a rich animal environment, the nursery for all kind of fish and sea life, the habitat for the famous mudskipper (periophtalmus fish) or the (delicious ;)) mud crab (scylla serrata).
In the world, the mangrove forest is an endangered environment and in the last 30 years about 40% of the surface of mangrove has disappeared mainly because cities are developing and covering lots of lands that used to be covered by the mangrove.
Noumea is no exception and the surface covered by mangrove has reduced to about 200 hectares in the capital city, but nonetheless you can still visit and enjoy it and contribute to its survival.
2 good options to discover this rich environment: the aquarium of Noumea where a tank is dedicated to the mangrove. Even better is a guided tour in the mangrove of Ouemo, ideal place for a botanical tour.
New Caledonia’s mangrove forest in a few numbers:
– In Noumea the mangrove covers 47 km out of the 160 km of coastline.
– It covers 35 000 hectares of surface mainly on the west coast of the island where the mangrove find large flat surfaces where it can develop.
– Over the 60 species known in the world, 25 species of mangrove trees (palétuvier in French) are found in New Caledonia.
Interested in a guided tour in the mangrove, please contact us.