Mangrove Swamp in Taman Alam ,Kuala Selangor

 11 Nov 2017

A site visit at Kuala Selangor Nature Park for a report about mangrove swamp .



INTRODUCTION

Mangroves are a group of trees and shrubs that grows along the coast in the intertidal zone.  It is a forest that have an ecosystem that protected along the coast. The trees and shrubs grows in saline soil and brackish water subject to periodic fresh and salt water over flow. The mangrove trees have their own uniqueness of features. Leaf structures, particular types of bark, and tough root system are the example of uniqueness of features. The features will help them to survive. Mangrove forest is a very dynamic and highly productive ecosystem. It plays multiple ecological functions that important to its surrounding habitats and essential resources for coastal communities
The mangrove forest studied on the field trip which were located at Taman Alam , Kuala Selangor. The Kuala Selangor Nature Park (or KSNP for short) was based on coastal mangrove swamp area . The nature park is managed by the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS). This is because this swamp plays an important role as conservation area for coastal and riverside mangrove, while serving as a nature education center . The coastline , consisting of distinct habitat which include inland secondary forests, muddy estuaries and mudflats, and a brackish lake that is inhibited by wetland animals.

The area also has more than 150 species of birds and an estimated 100,000 wading birds, comprising 30 species, passing through here on their annual migration. Thus bird watching is perhaps one interesting activity in Kuala Selangor Nature Park.
There are four trail to take to view the wildlife. They are the Egret Trail (550 metres), Pangolin Trail (1km), Coastal Bund (1.7km) and Langur Trail (1.1km) . It only took couple of hour to cater those trails.


This trip really help us out to get exposed with the real ecosystem of mangrove forest in Malaysia. It was a precious moment to get closer with those attractive habitat that were living in Taman Alam. This trip successfully make every each of us be more knowledgeable on mangrove forest reservation .


KUALA SELANGOR NATURE PARK

The field trip that had been studied for mangrove forest is Kuala Selangor Nature Park. The field trip is to do some research and study information and gain knowledge with experienced practically about the mangrove forest. Kuala Selangor Nature Park or also known as Taman Alam Kuala Selangor is one of the mangrove forests that had been gazette as to conserve the mangrove forest within the reserve forest or protected area.



In 1987, Kuala Selangor Nature Park was created.  It was set aside for a golf development but the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) cooperated with the Selangor State Government, saved and rescued the 800 acre coastal site from been damage and organize the nature conservation park. In order to maintain the facilities, accommodation and the park, Malaysia Nature Society has done a good job by attracting corporate sponsorship and financial support for the park. The Bird Life International have been recognized the efforts been made and become a global partnership of conservation organizations that responsible designated the park an Important Bird Area.

There is a dig shallow lake with island that comprising the park to enhance the wildlife habitat. It is accommodate in 324 hectare of land be made up of coastal mangroves which 104 hectare, 200 hectare of secondary forest, 20 acres of a brackish water lake and mangrove conservation. The park is a place that acts as a sanctuary and shelters over 156 species of local and migratory birds, mammals, insects, mollusks, crabs, fish, reptiles and amphibians. There are also become a habitat for special features and characteristics of animals such as mudskippers, mud lobster, king crab, otters, leopard cats and silvered-leaf monkey. And, some of the fauna is threatened.

OBJECTIVES OF THE TRIP

The purpose of trip to Taman Alam provides the student an opportunity to integrate social work theory and knowledge from a generalist perspective , other than that it is also for observation which is non-experimental research where it provide students with experiences . The trip placement provides a well structured environment in an urban-based setting for students to apply generalist knowledge, values and skills learned in the classroom. The field trip objectives are designed for student to gain first hand knowledge of mangrove forest and their important for reservation Ecological services by mangrove forest and also to know the measure to conserve mangrove forest.

IMPORTANCE OF MANGROVE  FOREST RESERVES

The Mangrove Forest Reserve is known as the best managed sustainable mangrove ecosystem in the world. This mangrove reserve contains rich and diverse wildlife that provide nature lovers to visit and explore its wetlands and resources. You can stroll along the wooden boardwalk and observe forestry and fishing activities and denizens that thrive in the muddy mangrove floor. Visit the mangrove forest and charcoal kiln sites which are found more inland. Bird watching and fishing are the primary activities in the morning while at night get a boat ride to see synchronized blinking lights of fireflies.
But there are a lot of importance of mangrove forest reserve as from the ecological aspects, forest has an important role of protecting, controlling and being a producer for it’s natural surrounding :

·         protect coastlines against erosive wave action and strong coastal winds, and serve as natural barriers against tsunamis and torrential storms.
·         prevent salt water from intruding into rivers. Maintain stability of water circulation such as to balance water content below soil balance daily temperature and influence air movement.
·         retain, concentrate and recycle nutrients and remove toxicants through a natural filtering process.
·         provide resources for coastal communities who depend on the plants for timber, fuel, food, medicinal herbs and other forest products.
·         Are an important breeding ground for many fishes, crabs, prawns and other marine animals, essential for sustaining a viable fishing industry. Malaysia's mangroves are more diverse than those in tropical Australia, the Red Sea, tropical Africa and the Americas. About 50% of fish landings on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia are associated with mangroves
·         Controlling and balancing the contents of gasses in the atmosphere such as Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide
·         Preserving historic and cultural features of importance to the traditional lifestyles and well-being of local peoples
·         Preservation of species and genetic diversity
·         Education , tourism and recreation

ECOLOGICAL SERVICES BY MANGROVE FOREST

Taman Alam Mangrove is a plant community that has adapted to live in the inter tidal zone in the coastal zone . Mangroves have special adaptations against the hard environmental conditions. One of the most highly productive ecosystem

·         Flood control
·         Groundwater refill
·         Shoreline stabilization & storm protection
·         Sediment & nutrient retention and export
·         Water purification
·         Reservoirs of biodiversity
·         Cultural values
·         Recreation & tourism
·         Climate change mitigation and adaptation

·         Wetland products
·         Fish and other fishery
·         Provide fuel wood and building material

MEASURE TO CONSERVE MANGROVE FOREST

Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems in many regions of the world and research and studies are revealing the unique importance of these habitats to the planet. Mangroves literally live in two worlds at once, making up a transitional zone between land and sea, whilst connecting and supporting both.
The alternative way for saving the mangrove is by involving local people. This management practice are used in conserving the Matang Mangrove forests (Malaysia) which i think a successful one. By giving awareness to the local communities, automatically they will feel the important of this halophytic plant to them.
·         Given the enormous benefits of mangrove forests, proper management and conservation is therefore necessary to ensure the continued existence of mangrove forests. Carry out public education programs. Promote ecological tourism in mangrove areas.
·         Enforce existing conservation laws. Reforest shrimp farm intake and discharge canals.
·         Actively experiment to develop sustainable agriculture in estuaries, integrating mangroves and productivity of agriculture.
  • ·         Zone mangrove areas according to appropriate uses.
  • ·         Restore mangrove area hydrology.
  • ·         Create buffer zones around shrimp ponds.
  • ·         Plant emerging islands with mangroves.
  • ·         Manage timber harvesting, and institute site-specific mangrove forest management.
  • ·         Protect freshwater inflow to mangrove estuaries.
  • ·         Prepare optimal use plans for all activities in the intertidal zone.
  • ·         Reforest abandoned shrimp farms.


Conservation of mangroves also can be enhanced by:

·         Gazetting all remaining mangrove forests within forest reserves or protected areas. Some mangrove forests are already gazetted such as the Matang Forest Reserve in Perak, the Kuala Selangor Nature Park in Selangor, the Bako National Park in Sarawak, the Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary and Sepilok Forest Reserve in Sabah. But many other mangrove areas are still without any protection.
·         Devising well-balanced coastal land-use plans, such as maintaining sustainable limits in logging and other harvesting activities of its resources.
·         Retaining protective mangrove buffers along coastlines and rivers to prevent erosion.
·         Managing mangrove forests as fishery reserves to encourage environmentally-sensitive commercial aquaculture activities. Raising public awareness and educating the community to discourage indiscriminate clearing.
·         Introduction of social forestry schemes. Damaged forest areas can be planted and managed for small-scale village timber enterprises. Mangrove species like Rhizophora mucronata or R. apiculata are particularly ideal for mangrove plantations as they are both fast growing and lucrative.

REFERENCES

·         CBEMR; ‘A Successful Method Of Mangrove Restroration Mangrove Action Project’; Retrieved from http://www.mangroveactionproject.org/cbemr/
·         Alejandro Bodero Q, Donald Robadue; Mangrove Ecosystems; ‘Strategies For Managing Mangrove Ecosystems’; 2006; Retrieved from http://www.crc.uri.edu/download/8YearsEnglish_Mangroves.pdf
·         Hery Purnobasuki; ‘What Is The Most Effective Way To Save Mangrove’; 2014; Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/post/What_is_the_most_effective_way_to_save_mangrove

·         Ben van Wijnen , Mangrove Forest Reserve Kuala Sepetang
http://www.malaysiasite.nl/mangroveeng.htm

·         Mangrove Forests



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