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South Africa

Vegetation description

Mangroves occur only on the east coast of South Africa, due to the warming effect of the Mozambique current. They are found from north of East London at mouth of the Nahoon River. Four species are present in this area: Avicennia marina (the most common species), Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Rhizophora mucronata, and Lumnitzera racemosa. Ceriops tagal and Acrostichum aureum are present in a few sites. From Mngazana northwards all four species occur in the tidal forests, although Rhizophora mucronata is not always present. Other relevant sites are: Transkei, Mbashe estuary and Kosi Bay.

Hughes, R.H. & Hughes, J.S. 1992. A Directory of African Wetlands. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK/UNEP, Nairobi, Kenya/WCMC, Cambridge, UK. 820 pp.

National level mangrove area estimates







1 100

Saenger, P., Hegerl E.J. and J.D.S., Davie. 1983. Global status of mangrove ecosystems. Commission on Ecology Papers No.3. IUCN. Gland, Switzerland. 88 pp.


Secondary reference, no primary source provided.

The "Year" is the publication year.



Snedaker, S.C. 1991. Personal communication.


Cited in: Fisher, P and Spalding, M.D. 1993. Protected areas with mangrove habitat. Draft Report World Conservation Centre, Cambridge, UK. 60pp. The "Year" is the publication year. Expert estimate


33 500

Spalding, M.D., Blasco, F. and Field, C.D., eds. 1997. World Mangrove Atlas. The International Society for Mangrove Ecosystems, Okinawa, Japan. 178 pp.


Map analysis. No scale provided.

Trends in mangrove area extent over time

The estimate for 2000 has been calculated applying the FRA 2000 (FAO, 2001) annual rate (-0.1 percent) to the most recent, reliable figure.

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