New mangrove record confirmed for Vanuatu

30 December 2012 | Article

A new mangrove species record has been confirmed for Vanuatu. The hybrid, Sonneratia X gulngai, was discovered during a field assessment on Santo Island and now brings the total national mangrove species record to 20.

Sonneratia X gulngai is a hybrid and is readily distinguished by its larger tree size, larger leaves and flower buds. The species is also found in other Pacific Island Countries including Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea and in other countries such as Malaysia and Philippines.

The hybrid was first spotted on Santo Island in August 2012 by MESCAL Vanuatu National Coordinator Ms. Rolenas Baereleo and this month  Mangrove Specialist Dr. Norman Duke assessed and confirmed the find.

The  new record has sparked excitement for the MESCAL Vanuatu team. "We are sure there are other species to be uncovered but it needs time and commitment," said Ms Baereleo.

MESCAL Vanuatu continues to make progress in determining key biodiversity characteristics of mangrove stands around the country. 

For more information please contact Dr. Milika Sobey at milika.sobey@iucn.org