Rakhine mangrove forest on mud



Rakhine mangrove forest on mud occupies the intertidal zone of the Rakhine coastline. In this region, mangroves occur on soft, muddy, waterlogged sediments, primarily within sheltered bays and inlets. They are exposed to very high water salinity as a result of regular tidal incursion (Spalding, 2001) and are often fringed by groves of Nipa palms, which mark the transition to other ecosystems.

Assessment summary

This ecosystem is distributed along a narrow band of the western Myanmar coastline, and remote sensing data indicates extensive declines in its extent. When extrapolated to 2038, there will be an estimated 38% reduction in geographic distribution. Furthermore, an estimate of the current range versus that around 1800 suggests that less than 10% of the original extent remains. Owing to non- citation of source information, there is some uncertainty around this historical figure but this estimate was deemed plausible with a spatial model of pre-human extent (Murray, unpub. data). An assessment of time-series vegetation indices suggests a 12% degradation of the ecosystem since 2000, and projected to a 50 year time frame about 40% of the ecosystem may become degraded by 2050. Given uncertainty around the historical estimate, the ecosystem is assessed within the plausible range of Vulnerable – Critically Endangered and assigned a status of Critically Endangered.