The Global Conservation Status of Mangroves

The Global Conservation Status of Mangroves


This research evaluates mangrove stands in 16 countries and island states throughout the neo- and paleotropics. Relying on site visits, the authors evaluate the local impacts on mangroves and the attitudes toward mangroves.

Conclusions & Takeaways

Large-scale anthropogenic disturbances were witnessed as clearcutting without seedling replanting for agricultural or aquacultural expansion, urban expansion, and resort development. Smaller scale degradation was observed as stems were harvested for fuelwood, poles, and artisanal materials. Non-point source impacts included sewage, agricultural runoff, and oil pollution damaging the mangroves. With respect to attitudes, most local village leaders, fisherman, and land managers expressed knowledge of the importance of mangrove functioning on human welfare in terms of habitat for fish, protecting the coasts, and providing small-scale extractive materials. Only two attitudes (by shrimp farmers) viewed mangroves as a physical impediment to aquaculture. With respect to reforestation, if tree planting does not occur soon after clearcutting, the changes to soil chemistry, invasion of early colonizers erosion, and hypersalinity can prevent mangroves from naturally re-growing. The authors recommend research trials into the methods and site conditions of mangrove reforestation.



Farnsworth, E.J. and Ellison, A.M. 1997. The global conservation status of mangroves. Ambio 26(6): 328-334.


  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA
  • The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA, USA
  • Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA, USA.