Values & Functions of Wetlands
Kota Kinabalu Wetland being a mangrove forest is one type of wetlands. As a wetland, Kota Kinabalu Wetland plays a major role for our city. It acts as flood retention to hold heavy rainfalls, and preventing possible flooding downstream. Besides flood control, it also helps to recycle nutrients and removes toxicants and sediments. This mangrove area provides breeding and nursery grounds for the young of many ocean fishes, seashells, prawns and crabs. Mangrove is also important as a feeding and breeding grounds for migratory birds as well as resident birds.
This sanctuary is not only a much needed natural green lung for the city, it is also strategically located as an environmental education centre, eco-tourism attraction, urban recreation and nature appreciation for all ages of people.
A mangrove is a forest at the edge of the sea or the estuaries. It is found in the intertidal zone where the tide brings in salt water from the sea twice a day. The special thing about the mangrove is that it is full of mud but they are specially adapted to grow in mud and brackish water. Mangrove plants have to face several challenges to survive in this kind of environment. The challenges are soft mud, wet soil with no oxygen, excess salt, and tide or water movement. They need adaptation to survive in this harsh environment. That is why they have very strange root system and weird seeds. Different types of mangrove plants have different types of roots. There are stilt roots or prop roots, knee-roots, needle-like roots and cable-roots. Totally, there are 9 species of mangrove plants can be found at this sanctuary. Besides mangrove plants, there are other plants such as fern, shrub and other vegetation.