In sheltered bays and inlets like Western Port and Corner Inlet, and larger estuaries like the Yarra and Barwon Rivers, small trees called mangroves form an important protective fringe along the coastline and out into the water.
Mangroves provide important protection for coastlines from the erosion caused by waves and storms.
The White Mangrove (Avicennia marina) is the only mangrove species found in Victoria. It also grows in tropical areas as much larger trees.
Mangroves have a range of features that allow them to survive on the edge of the sea in the challenging habitat of thick, airless and salty mud. They have specialised breathing roots, salt glands for removing excessive salt and large seeds that can float in seawater.
Many species of animals including crustaceans and fish, feed among the mangroves in the early stages of their life. Species found in this habitat include Yellow Eye Mullet (Aldrichetta forsteri), Mangrove snail (Bembicium sp) and Mud Crabs (Paragrapsus laevis).
- Poor water quality entering the sea from catchments
- Oil and chemical pollution
- Fishing or removal of animals and plants
- Marine pests which compete for food or space
- Trampling of the mangrove’s specialised breathing roots
- Climate change effects including sea level rise, warming sea surface temperatures, and increasing ocean acidity.
Where to see mangroves
- French Island Marine National Park
- Yaringa Marine National Park
- Corner Inlet Marine National Park
- Churchill Island Marine National Park
- Jawbone Marine Sanctuary
- Mangroves of Victoria Information Kit (PDF, 1.15MB)