Text and photographs by Feng Yongfeng and Xiao Shibai
Just across the Qiongzhou Strait facing HainanIsland, the Leizhou Peninsula at the southerntip of the Chinese mainland is home to ZhanjiangCity of Guangdong Province. The peninsulais dominated by flatland with nary a hill or mountainto be seen. There, mangrove forests account for 33percent of the nation’s total, but unlike nature reservesfor other specific species, which congregate in clusters,the mangrove forests of the peninsula are scattered allover, some hidden in untouched nooks.
Zhanjiang’s Xiashan, Chikan, and Mazhang districtsare home to the highest concentration of man-grove forests. Lacing the 1,500-km coastline of theLeizhou Peninsula are 68 small reserves for two-thirdsof the city’s mangroves, which are protected by 1,300squads. Some mangroves can also be found within thecity proper, and municipal authorities planted themaround several key locations to accentuate the city’snewly constructed Sea Viewing Corridor.
Mangroves primarily grow at bays or estuaries,which explains their spotty distribution along thewinding stretches of coastline. Undoubtedly, it is dif-ficult for a single nature reserve to protect and manageall of these forests, but extensive local public participationwould make conservation a more realistic task toaccomplish.......