With their thick foliage and spindly roots, mangrove forests may look scary to many people, but they actually play a huge role in the wellbeing of the local ecosystem. Like in the rest of Malaysia, the Cherating River mangrove forest provides countless benefits not only to the creatures who call it home but also to the people of Cherating.

However, mangrove forests including the one in Cherating have been declining over the years which can cause a host of problems. If you want to learn more about why mangroves are so important, continue reading.

About Mangrove Forests in Malaysia

Mangrove forests are located in tropical and subtropical regions and Malaysia is the third-largest mangrove-holding country in the world. Forests in Malaysia including Cherating account for about 45% of the world's total mangrove forest coverage. We also boast the highest diversity of mangrove plant species in the world. In fact, we have 48 out of the global 69 mangrove exclusive species on our shores.

Mangrove forests are more prevalent in the peninsular's east and south coast, as well as around Borneo. These forests have a mix of saltwater and freshwater plants. Examples are mangrove trees of the Bruguiera genus that grow closer to the sea and nipah trees that grow further upriver. While exploring a mangrove forest whether on foot or by boat, you can see the change in the types of plant as you travel along the river.

The Importance of Mangroves in Cherating

The Cherating River is a relatively short river but its mangrove forest provides significant benefits to the local ecosystem and people. Below are some of its most vital contributions:

Protects the coast from natural disasters - Mangrove trees are an important line of defence against natural forces like tsunamis and typhoons. They absorb a lot of the impact when these disasters hit ground and help dissipate the force.

Regulates carbon in the atmosphere - Mangrove trees absorb and fix atmospheric carbon very efficiently compared to other plants. This makes them instrumental in mitigating the effects of global warming and controlling the temperature in the local ecosystem.

Natural habitat for diverse species - Thousands of species of plants and animals live in a mangrove forest. The Cherating River is home to various unique creatures including sea otters, snakes, crabs, monkeys, and various migrating birds. The forest is also home to the Pteroptyx bearni firefly species which is unique to several locations around Malaysia including Cherating.

Absorbs pollutants - Mangroves can absorb and filter pollutants through their roots, acting as a sieve that keeps pollutants from entering the sea.

An important resource for human activity - Mangrove forests provide natural resources for the local communities such as food, timber, medicinal herbs, and contributes to the local tourism industry such as at Cherating.

Attractions on the Cherating River

The mangrove forest of Cherating River is famous for its two attractions; the mangrove river cruise and the firefly river cruise. Occurring twice a day, in the mornings and afternoons, the mangrove river cruise takes you on a relaxing trip on the water where you'll learn about the river, mangrove forest, and the local ecosystem.

Whereas on the firefly river cruise that takes place at sunset, you'll experience the magical atmosphere of Cherating River with fireflies blinking and dancing in the night sky. Of course, you'll also learn about the firefly population and its importance in Cherating.

Mangrove forests are an essential part of Cherating and Malaysia as a whole. At Club Med Cherating, we support the protection of the local mangrove forest and can help you arrange cruises on the river. If you'd like to experience the natural wonder of Cherating and everything else it has to offer, do book a stay at Club Med!