Bruguiera gymnorhiza flowers 2MangroveWatch


The primary objective of the MangroveWatch program is to provide consistent data on the health of mangrove communities.  This data will be the first of its kind for the Sunshine Coast area; as a result the data collected will act as baseline data for future studies.

The program also aims to engage and educate community members, volunteers and staff on the importance of mangrove communities.  We aim to improve the communities understanding on the variety of roles mangroves play within an ecosystem.

Values and Significance

Mangrove forests are one of the most important and widespread coastal ecosystems in Australia; these forests play a vital role in the biological productivity of the nation’s coastal waters (Lovelock, C). Majority of all mangrove species have a complex and extensive root system (see photos below) which not only aids in stabilising the foreshore, but also enables mangrove communities to act as filters, trapping sediments and river borne nutrients.

Mangrove forests also provide key habitat for a diverse range of aquatic, terrestrial and migratory animals. A number of these animals spend their entire lives within the mangrove forests whereas; some terrestrial and aquatic species utilise mangrove forests in different stages of their lifecycle (Duke, N.) For example, a number of fish and prawn species reproduce within mangrove forests; it has been estimated that the contribution of mangrove-related species in eastern Australia is around 67% of the entire commercial catch (Duke, N.)

Queensland holds the highest biodiversity of mangrove species within Australia; there are 39 mangrove species and hybrids, 9 of these species are found nowhere else in the country (Duke, N.) This reason alone indicates the value and significance of these ecosystems within the state. Until recently mangrove forests were not been viewed as ecologically important however; with ongoing research this awareness is improving and strategies are being developed to protect these coastal habitats.

Methodology – How to MangroveWatch?

MangroveWatch will occur in the main channel of the Maroochy River from the mouth to the north/south confluence at Yandina, with particular attention paid to the lower estuary and the islands around the mouth of the river. The navigable reaches of Eudlo Creek, Petrie Creek and Coolum Creek will also be monitored.

The methodology consists largely of video photography and mapping using a PDA. For more detailed information, contact Maroochy Waterwatch on 07 54764777 or info [at] maroochycatchmentcentre [dot] org [dot] au

Available for viewing are either a map demonstrating Mangrove health or Mangrove species dominance

Here are a few photos from Mangrovewatch 2010 [nggallery id=3]


Duke, N. (2006) Australia’s Mangroves, University of Queensland, Brisbane.

Lovelock, C. (2003) A Field Guide to the Mangroves of Queensland, Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Current Clients:

  • Dept of Environment and Heritage Protection

Past Clients:

  • Sunshine Coast Council
  • SEQ Catchments
  • Dept of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities