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      Biosphere Reserve Information



  General Description   The Ngaremeduu Bay Region lies on the west coast of the Babeldaob Island, the largest island of Palau, located in the South Pacific. The Biosphere Reserve corresponds to the Ngaremeduu Conservation Area: it incorporates the largest estuary in Micronesia, freshwater marshes, Pandanus/grass and shrub savanna, one of the largest stretches of mangroves on the small Pacific islands, as well as extensive coral reefs and seagrass beds.

The area has one of the richest biodiversity in Micronesia with a range of both marine and terrestrial species. There are approximately 200 species of stony corals in the reef habitats and the total number of corals can exceed 100 species per site when combined with soft corals. The stretches of mangroves include 44% of Palau’s mangrove forest and comprise 18 different mangrove species. Ngaremeduu Bay is also known to provide habitat for several endangered and threatened species such as the dugong, salt-water crocodile, and sea turtles.

Since the core areas and buffer zones are mostly marine areas, there are only some 60 people living in the Biosphere Reserve and most of the Palauans in the villages still depend on subsistence fisheries and farming. It is estimated that there are over 80 cultural and historical sites within or around the Biosphere Reserve. These include traditional villages consisting of stone platforms, stone paths, monoliths, burials, stone piles and docks. Conservation of these sites is important since they can be used to attract tourists as part of an income-generating project.Other income-generating projects include aquaculture with the construction of milkfish ponds, and ecotourism with adventure kayak tours, nature trails and visits of historical culture sites.The three core areas correspond to a Fish conservation area, a Clam conservation Area and a Mangrove crab conservation area that have been established by community members. This type of management is traditionally known as a 'bul' in Palauan, that is, when traditional leaders decide to protect a certain area to allow a species to recover from being over-harvested. By allowing traditional management, the Biosphere Reserve promotes socio-culturally sustainable conservation practices.

The Management Plan of the Biosphere Reserve provides the framework to achieve biodiversity conservation and sustainable development through a community participatory approach. The Conservation Area Coordinating Committee (CACC) is the decision-making body that oversees the management of the overall Ngaremeduu Conservation Area and Biosphere Reserve.
  Major ecosystem type   Marine systems; Mangroves; Coral reefs
  Major habitats & land cover types   Mangrove forest dominated by Sonneratia alba and Rhizophora apiculata; Swamp forests including transitional swamp forest closest to the mangroves, characterized by the tree species Calophyllum soulattri, Pandanus kanehirae, and Stemonurus ammui, and interior swamp forest with the tree species Horsfieldia amklaal, Barringtonia racemosa, Heritiera littoralis and Hanguana; Upland forest with Maranthes corymbosa representing the most common canopy species on the ridges, followed by Campnosperma brevipetiolata and Pinangu insignis as the dominant species in the valley and slopes; Savanna including Pandanus/grass savanna and shrub savanna; Freshwater marshes; Cultivated areas and secondary vegetation including wetland taro, banana, papaya, mango, guava and noni; Seagrass beds dominated by Enhalus acoroides; Coral reefs
  Location   07º32'24"N; 134º27'46"E (Central point)
07º35'22"N; 134º27'46"E (Northern limit)
07º26'51"N; 134º31'01"E (Southern limit)
07º31'14"N; 134º21'24"E (Western limit)
07º31'1"N; 134º32'45"E (Eastern limit)
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   13,674
  Core area(s)   210 (of which marine: 210)
  Buffer zone(s)   13085 (of which marine: 12972)
  Transition area(s) when given   379
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   -56 to +213
  Year designated   2005
  Administrative authorities   Conservation Area Coordinating Committee - CACC (decision making body) and MCPA Program (technical and financial support), reporting to the Ministry of Resources and Development and the three State Governments of Aimeliik, Ngatpang, and Ngaremlengui
  Brief description   The core areas are the Fish Conservation Area, the Mangrove Crabs Conservation Area, and the Clam Conservation Area, with strict measures in place - “no entry” and “no take” of the specified species as well as other species in the area, as regulated under Ngatpang legislation. The buffer zone includes a vast marine area, lagoons, the Ngaremeduu Bay, and mangroves areas around the Ngaremeduu Conservation Area. In these areas only sustainable development is allowed. The transition area includes the upland areas in Aimeliik that are officially designated as part of the Ngaremeduu Conservation Area. It is encouraged that any development in the upland areas that are within the watershed of Ngaremeduu should be sustainable, to ensure that there are minimal environmental impacts to the Ngaremeduu Conservation Area.

Fish surveys; Coral reef monitoring; Invertebrate surveys; Sea grass surveys
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   n.a.
  Biodiversity   Coral reefs, fishes, invertebrates/insects/spiders, monitoring/methodologies, plants, species inventorying/inventory.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   n.a.
  Contact address   Alma Ridep-Morris
MPA Program Manager
14 Madrid Court, Kirwan, Townsville
4817 Queensland
  Telephone   (61) 415967867

Last updated: 08/09/2010

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