Informative on-site signage states that the Mangrove Boardwalk at Mangrove Cove in Leschenault Estuary has been developed to provide visitors to Bunbury and south-western Australia, with ‘a unique insight into local maritime history and the magnificent ecosystem of the famous white mangrove colony’. The wooden boardwalk with attractive carved features consists of a relatively short loop with two entrances, providing both a popular recreational walk for locals, and a rather special natural ecological attraction for visitors. The boardwalk provides a close up view of Western Australia’s southernmost mangrove colony – an unusually isolated mangrove enclave separated by more than 500 km from the nearest other mangrove areas on Houtman Abrolhos islands far to the north. The mangroves in Leschenault inlet have been there a long time, dating back at least 10,000 years. The ecosystem is special because of this isolation but it also special because of the links it has with an unusual combination and variety of associated habitats including mudflats and saltmarsh. Together, these support an extraordinary variety of bird and marine life that can been throughout the surrounding Leschenault Inlet. The local food chain is based on the trees providinig support as habitat and food for birds and numerous invertebrates that live in the mud and vegetation across the mudflats and saltmarshes. The combination of these estuarine habitats provide a rich feeding ground for many species of waterbird, which can be spotted by the keen observers amongst you. Mangrove Cove is an essential home and feeding ground for many types of birds including three small waders which fly thousands of kilometers from the northern hemisphere each year to spend their summer here.
The walk takes you through the estuarine vegetation transitions from fields of rushes and samphire patches through to clumps of bushes and shrubby mangrove trees with the distinctively long, ‘pencil-like’ breathing roots. This special area of respite is enjoyed by the locals escaping from the close-by city areas. Construction of the boardwalk was assisted by a team of young locals as part of a training program. There are on-going vegetation works to improve and maintain the area. For example, the Leschenault Estuary and Inlet foreshores are being revegetated using local mangrove species, Avicennia marina var. marina. It is stated for this conservation project, that mangrove enhancement will: protect the foreshores from storm erosion; help improve estuary water quality; provide habitat for native wildlife; and maintain Leschenault waterways plant biodiversity. The site works are sponsored by: Leschenault Inlet Management Authority, Water and Rivers Commission; Leschenault Community Nursery, Coastcare and Coastwest.
- Distance/length: 200m
- Walking Time: 20 mins.
- Address: Bunbury, Western Australia, Australia.
- Directions: Follow local directions.
- Contact: For more information contact the Bunbury visitor centre: Bunbury Information Centre
PLANTS AND ANIMALS YOU MIGHT SEE
MangrovesWhite Mangrove (Avicennia marina var. marina)
Invertebrates in the mudTelescopium telescopium
Invertebrates in the vegetationButterflies, spiders
Rare & Endangered Biota
Norm Duke and Helen Penrose, UQ CMS; Vic Semeniuk (4 February 2007).
Diana Kleine, UQ CMS; Kath McMahon, Edith Cowan University