The Venezuelan mangroves span over 2,200 square miles, ranking as one of the largest mangrove ecoregions in South America, but that number is shrinking steadily.
Recent satellite data shows that human actions are wiping out mangrove forests even faster than previous bleak estimates. Conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA, the researchers found that mangroves comprise 12.3 percent less area than previously estimated.
“Our assessment shows, for the first time, the exact extent and distribution of mangrove forests of the world at 30 meters spatial resolution, the highest resolution ever,” said Dr. Chandra Giri from USGS.
Along the shore of Lake Maracaibo near the Venezuelan coast, plastic debris, sediment, pesticide runoff from industrial logging operations is polluting the water among the mangroves and destroying the habitat of aquatic animals like crabs, fish, and shellfish.
Venezuelan mangroves are specifically protected through a Presidential Decree, and many of the region’s mangrove forests are within the limits of high-ranking conservation units.
Although Venezuelan mangroves are specifically protected through a presidential decree, and many of the mangrove forests in the region are within the boundaries of units of high conservation, population growth and urban planning unchecked also do yours to deforest and expand without assessing important ecosystem.
Gustavo Carrasquel | ANCA24