Mangrove description - Tanzania, United Rep of

Vegetation description
Mangroves occur along the continental coast of
Tanzania and on Zanzibar Island. The largest mangrove area is found on the Rufiji River Delta, but other large areas are found at Tanga, Kilwa and the estuaries of Ruvu, Wami, Pangani and Ruvuma Rivers. Among the species present in this country Acrostichum aureum, Avicennia marina, Ceriops tagal, Lumnitzera racemosa and Rhizophora mucronata are the most representative.

Uses and threats
There is a long history of the use of mangroves in Tanzania, dating back to at least the ninth century when they were used as a major timber supply to the non-forested countries to the north, particularly on the Arabian Peninsula. Mangroves remain relatively widespread despite the exploitation. Most mangrove areas remain heavily exploited for timber and firewood and in many areas trees fail to reach their full stature. Uses include timber for fences, houses, boats, fish traps and fuelwood. Some poles are cut for export and the local markets, though much of this is illegal. Fishing, and particularly prawn fishing, in mangrove areas is very important. In the Rufiji Delta, some areas have been cleared for rice cultivation. The remainder of the delta is now protected although it is still under considerable pressure from local populations, despite the observed declining yields on the existing farms. Further areas have been cleared for the construction of salt pans. The importance of mangroves to Tanzania has been recognised and all mangrove areas are legally protected. The key to their protection lies in the wise management and use of mangrove areas, and in the enforcement of existing regulations.


Lined, E.M. & Morrison, M.E.S. 1975. East African vegetation. Longman, London.
Spalding, M.D., Blasco, F. & Field, C.D. (Eds.) 1997. World mangrove atlas. The International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems, Okinawa, Japan. 178 pp.

Play a role in the preparation of the revised World Atlas of Mangroves

The information provided above will be used as an input to the revised World Atlas of Mangroves and as national level description in the Forest Resources Assessment (FRA) 2005 Thematic study on Mangroves.

During the past months the information has been updated thanks to the kind collaboration of several national and international experts, who has helped the Initiative in collecting recent data. The collection has been now completed and the page will be updated as soon as possible.

The Initiative would like to thank all the people who contributed with additional data, for the improvement of the information on this country. All the support provided will be duly acknowledged in the country profiles.
last updated:  Friday, October 6, 2006