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Kiunga Marine National Reserve

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Posted by  Admin Thursday, 27 April 2006 08:50

Kiunga Marine National Reserve

Kiunga Marine National Reserve incorporates a chain of about 50 calcareous offshore islands and coral reefs in the Lamu Archipelago, running for some 60km parallel to the coastline off the northern most coast of Kenya and adjacent to Dodori and Boni National Reserves on the mainland.
Composed of old, eroded coral, the islands mainly lie inland around 2km offshore and inshore of the fringing reef. They vary in size from a few hundred sq m to 100ha or more. Their walls rise sheer from the surrounding seabed and are usually deeply undercut on the landward side. The larger islands and the more sheltered inner islands are covered with low, tangled thorny vegetation including grass, aloes and creepers. The small outer islands provide nest sites for migratory seabirds. The reserve conserves valuable coral reefs, sea grass meadows and extensive mangrove forests, with their attendant biodiversity and is also a refuge for sea turtles and dugongs.

Climate:
The climate is hot and humid with rainfall around 500mm per year.

Roads:
By boat from Lamu or by road from Lamu Airstrips: One at Dodori N. Reserve Major

Attractions:
Coral reefs, Sand dune, Kiwayu Island Activities: Wind surfing, Snorkeling, Water skiing, Sunbathing, Diving Reptiles/fish: Sea Turtles, Olive Ridley, Leatherback, Turtles, Reef fish Insects/arthropods: Lobsters, Sea urchins, Sea star, Crabs, Mosquito

Common Vegetation:
The islands consist of bare sharp edged spikes and ridges of coral on the seaward side with a little straggling vegetation such as Saliconria and the succulent sanseveria. On the landward side there is more vegetation including stunted thorny bushes of Commiphora and Salvadora persica. The coast itself has sandy beaches, some with mangrove swamps and a great variation of marine flora. Microscopic marine plants are absent from the upper part of the intertidal zone except for areas of Bostrychia bindelia. In the intertidal sand and mud, the finer sediments below water, which are subject to less wave action, have become fixed by growth of marine angiosperms and there are extensive areas of dugong grass (green algae) and Zostera spp. Dwarf shrub thickets of salt-tolerant plants (halophytes) typical of the Indo-Pacific beach littoral zone are common on the mainland, and species include Ipomoea pescaprae, Cyperus maritimus, Suaeda, and Tephrosia. Mangrove swamps dominated by Rhizophora mucronata occur in the sheltered tidal waters between Mwanzi and Mkokoni.

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