A nursery normally brings up images of screaming babies and nappies but in Madagascar our marine research team is spending their time in a more peaceful nursery environment. They are caring for mangrove saplings on the coast of the beautiful Bay of Diego Suarez.
Mangroves are an important part of a tropical coastal ecosystem as they reduce land erosion and keep water clear around the sensitive coral reefs. They are also home to a huge variety of birds and invertebrates. But mangroves are also a valued resource for the local people, leading to degradation of the precious forests. Our research team is leading the nursery project with the aim of teaching local communities about the effects of deforestation and how to replant mangrove forests. Such training would allow people to use the mangroves sustainably, without causing long-term damage to the coastal environment.
However, making sure replanted saplings survive in the harsh conditions of saltwater and waves is not an easy task. So far our research team has spent a year caring for mangrove saplings to find the best technique to ensure their survival and the hard work finally seems to have paid off. They are now putting together a simple manual which will be used to teach the local villagers how to replenish their degraded mangroves.
The mangrove nursery is just one of many tasks our marine research team is responsible for amongst the biodiversity surveys, habitat mapping and socio-economic work they carry out in the glistening waters of Northern Madagascar.
Read more about our Madagascar Marine Conservation & Diving Project