Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves
Location and description
These mangroves are found in the Indus River delta on the Arabian sea, an even saltier estuary than usual due to the salts brought to the coast by the Indus from the Thar Desert, a process that is ongoing as the river is increasingly used for irrigation and water supply. Mangroves are an important habitat where salt and fresh water mix and support a range of plants specialised to survive in this salty environment, and large numbers of fishes and crustaceans that find food, shelter and oxygen in the waters beneath the tree roots. The climate is hot.
Mangroves forests have a thick canopy and an undergrowth mainly of saplings of the mangrove trees.
The mangroves are especially important as a sheltered haven where fish, crustaceans and invertebrates can reproduce. They are also home to large numbers of seabirds. Mammals of the delta include Fishing Cats.
Threats and preservation
Pollution from the industrial city and port of Karachi is a threat to habitats in the delta, as is depletion of the Indus as water is extracted. Most of the Indus delta mangroves have been cleared for firewood and to create grazing land but some remains in three protected areas: Marho Kotri, Cut Munarki Chach Wildlife Sanctuaries and Mirpur Sakro Game Reserve.
- "Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.