Bruguiera Hainessii is a species of mangrove belonging to the Rhizophoraceae family. It is native to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Papua New Guinea. Bruguiera Hainessii is listed as critically endangered by International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN).
Last Thursday, Ministry of Environment announced via a press release that this rare and endangered species of mangrove plant have been sighted in Maldives for the first time at the protected wetland area situated at Kelaa, Haa Alif Atoll. Four of these plants were discovered and identified during an ecological field survey conducted this March by the ICUN’s Mangrove Specialist Group Red List Coordinator, Dr. Jean Yong. There is a possibility of Bruguiera Hainessii existing in other parts of Maldives.
With this new addition, 15 different types of mangrove plants have been identified in Maldives. The Ministry further revealed that discussions were already underway to designate a local name for the Bruguiera Hainesii plant.
A survey carried out in 2010 indicated that only 200 fully grown plants of this species were identified at that time, globally, in the countries; Australia, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Malaysian Peninsula, Thailand and Myanmar, which have further declined since then.
Although the discovery of Bruguiera Hainessii at the wetlands of Kelaa is celebratory, it is also extremely alarming considering the continuity of large-scale die-off of mangrove trees in this area by causes yet undetermined.
Cover: Ministry of Environment