Feb 13 2011

Nurseries of the Earth

Published by at 3:05 PM under Science,Sustainability

Our class trip to the Mangroves in the BangPu area of Bangkok was a real eye-opener for many of us who’ve never seen mangroves before. It was a beautiful day, not too hot by Bangkok standards, and we were paired up with Mr. Lam’s class to learn all about the mangroves.

In groups of about 8, we were led by some wonderful conservation specialists who guided us around the protected mangrove area. We played some interesting games that made it easier to understanding what is happening to the mangroves right now such as cutting them down for firewood, shrimp farming, industrialization and so on. We made a ‘mangrove in a box’ and got to see how mangroves actually protect houses and people from destructive forces such as tsunamis.

A tranquil glimpse into a bird’s life in a mangrove was another stop along the journey, complete with binoculars! I heard a few students say they could have stayed there all day. The cool breeze that blew through the building as we watched the birds in their natural habitat was very inviting and welcomed!

We also learned about food chains and how the mangroves are a critical part of maintaining certain bird and other animal species. Check out this article highlighting our need to care.

According to https://www.sms.si.edu/irlspec/Mangroves.htm, mangroves perform a vital ecological role providing habitat for a wide variety of species.  Odum et al. (1982) reported 220 fish species, 24 reptile species, 18 mammal species, and 181 bird species that all utilize mangroves as habitat during some period of life.  Additionally many species, though not permanent mangrove inhabitants, make use of mangrove areas for foraging, roosting, breeding, and other activities.

And Mangroves just aren’t in Bangkok, of course. They are all over the world! Do you live in an area of the world that has mangroves?

Check out the student blogs from Room 230 and read up on their take on the mangrove field trip experience!

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