Wednesday, January 27, 2010

West Coast Mangroves Is Now Half a Desert!!

From my last blog about our mangroves planting on 31st May 2009 at Langkawi's west coast, we were a bit disappointed with the results. On that day, we watched the waves and swells coming into the mudflat area. I  imagined the hundreds of seeds planted previously were washed away by the strong currents.
This is our planting site, which is located along Jalan Kuala Muda next to the fishermen's kampung cafe Warung Pais.

Map zoomed in

On 13th September 2009, I took Chiew from FRIM to inspect the site. She suggested that the best family to be planted as front liners would be the Avicennia spp. This was the condition of the young vegetation on that day:

As advised by some friends, planting on that site requires right timing and so we stopped the planting for awhile until the season of Western wind is over. Like now. Western wind brings rough sea with big swells and it is not advisable to sail along the west coast starting from the month of May till early October.
Eastern wind is now back in this dry season and the sea condition in our planting site is much calmer. We returned for the next planting and we were shocked to see the condition of the planting site on 13th December 2009.

It is now a desert!
Aida and I went ahead and planted 10 young Rhizophora Apiculata into the desert-like plot just to test them out.

Aida planting a pole in as a marker

Sunset at Kuala Melaka

I returned on 18th January 2010 to check if there is any improvement. The highest tide on this day was 2.0m.

Our marker pole is still standing
I found some young Avicennia spp. struggling on dried mud cakes.

Salt crystal on a leaf of Avicennia spp 

Notice the highest tide. The line of rubbish will tell...

Our young Rhizophora Apiculata planted on 13th Dec 2009 are drying out
With such a desert-like condition, it is impossible to plant anything right now until the period returns with a higher tide level. Compare the current condition with the picture below when we had the planting in May 2009.

Meanwhile, my seedlings will continue to sit in the plastic bottles.
Read more on our previous planting stories: Langkawi West Mangroves Planting


  1. Interesting observations ... can help others improve the success of their mangrove planting programmes

  2. We also need expertise to help on the success of this planting on this site. At this moment and as far as i know, only a couple of us are doing what we can within our budget, time and capability.

    There is a modern technique and it is very costly.


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