On the northeast of Mauritius lies an islet called Ile d’Ambre, one of the last remaining wildlife sanctuaries on the island, right across an unassuming bay. This bay serves as a launchpad as you first navigate a few fishing boats before paddling towards a wall of green. It is only when you get closer to them that the twisted roots coming out of the water become apparent. Ile d’Ambre is one of the last natural strongholds left on Mauritius, where the Mauritian Forestry Service estimates that only 2% of the island’s indigenous forests remain. Interestingly, this little islet is thought to be the place where the last dodo was killed. Mangrove forests provide important habitats for various plant and animal life forms and even though they only cover 0.5% of the world’s ocean surface area, they are estimated to bury 70% of the carbon sequestered in the ocean.
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