22nd January 2014
Mangrove forests are found throughout the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world in over 100 different countries. Characterised by the meeting of land and water, mangroves can provide habitats that are either fully saline or freshwater and in some areas, a mixture of the two (known as brackish).
Mangrove forests are made of up more than 70 different plant species including palms, legumes and hibiscus and provide some of the world's most enchanting habitats to a wide variety of different species from insects and small fish to large mammals such as primates and even people.
Although mangrove forests are today found circling the globe around the Equator, they are thought to have originated in South-East Asia where they remain in the highest abundance today but no matter where they are found, all mangroves share something in common and that is their ability to prevent salt from entering their roots, allowing them to survive in the intertidal zones.
Ranging from low-lying shrubs to trees more than 60 meters in height, mangroves provide unique habitats to creatures that are often not found outside of them including the iconic Proboscis Monkey that is found inhabiting the mangrove forests that line the large, bio-diverse rivers on the island of Borneo.
Unlike numerous other large mammals, Proboscis Monkeys have adapted to surviving solely in these environments and are even able to eat numerous plant species that other primates could not stomach. This natural bridge between land and water provides these monkeys with the perfect habitats in which to live, feed and care for their young with the minimal competition from other species.
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