In New Caledonia, the red mangrove, Lumnitzera littorea, bursts into clusters of tiny, brilliant red flowers in December.
This tree is in the estuary of the small Rivier des Pepites. You will find a series of sphere images of this lovely little river by scrolling down on this page or clicking on the arrows in the image. This is where the stream flows into the carénage anchorage of the Baie du Prony. Look down and you'll see the water here is clear. This is because the small river, like the three larger rivers that flow into this bay, have no people living anywhere on the watershed, no farming, no sewage, and very few roads. It is one of the few extensive watersheds on the planet that remains free of human populations.
Mangroves play a vital role in maintaining the health of coastal marine ecosystems. They form a biological filtration system protecting nearshore waters from siltation during heavy rains. A vast number of lagoon fish and invertebrates grow up in the protection of the mangrove forest before moving out into the lagoon to populate the coastal waters and coral reefs. Dissolved organics from the decaying mangrove leaves also enrich the nearby lagoon, nourishing the sea grasses and algae that form an important part of the lagoon's food-chain.
Throughout the world, mangroves forests are being cleared for coastal development, bulldozed for aquaculture farms, infested with slum housing, dammed by roads, and buried under municipal dumps. The vast majority of mangroves now grow in murky waters polluted with silt and pesticides from agriculture, cities and roads. In 2007 an international meeting of world mangrove experts unanimously agreed that "we face the prospect of a world deprived of the services offered by mangrove ecosystems, perhaps within the next 100 years." The experts reported, "mangrove losses during the last quarter century range consistently between 35 and 86%. As mangrove areas are becoming smaller or fragmented, their long-term survival is at great risk, and essential ecosystem services may be lost." and "We are greatly concerned that the full implications of mangrove loss for humankind are not fully appreciated. Growing pressures of urban and industrial developments along coastlines, combined with climate change and sea-level rise, urge the need to conserve, protect, and restore tidal wetlands" Mangrove Action Project.
Treasure this image, because the land surrounding this small river has been leased for strip mining. Soon this beauty will be just a memory our children will see on Google Earth and 360Cities.net. You can find more images of the New Caledonia wilderness here on on www.new-caledonia-photos.com.
新喀里多尼亚是离澳大利亚和新西兰最近的南太平洋岛屿。该岛是法国领地且官方语言是法语，尽管如此，其文化却丰富多彩，揉合了美拉尼西亚、欧洲、波利尼西亚、越南、中国、印尼等国的风情。这里有一个多山的大岛，称为大地岛 (Grande Terre)，和6个较小的岛屿——洛亚蒂三岛 (Loyalty Islands)、贝莱普群岛 (Belep) 和松树岛 (Isle of Pines)。 整个群岛人口极为稀少，有大片的荒野。这里有数百公里长的徒步小径、随处可见的露营营地、超过42个公园和保护区、清澈透明的河流和莹莹闪光的瀑布。约三分之一的人口居住在首府努美阿。镍的开采是该国最主要的工业，也是维持其高标准生活的主要经济来源。大地岛四周环绕着世界第二大珊瑚礁，此珊瑚礁形成的泻湖是世界上最大的，也是受保护的泻湖。该泻湖于2008年被列为世界遗产，面积达24000平方公里，是品种丰富的鱼类和无脊椎动物栖息之地。 对于刚上岛的游客而言，最引人注目的是这里鲜艳夺目的色彩。努美阿以其完备的酒店、度假酒店、餐馆设施和丰富多彩的活动欢迎游客的到来。