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Mangrove mapping in Ecuador: The impact of shrimp pond construction


A cooperative mangrove mapping project between the Ecuadorian Center for Remote Sensing (CLIRSEN) and the University of Delaware was begun in August 1982. The objectives of the project were to create historical maps of mangrove ecosystem extent and change, while transferring aerial photographic interpretation techniques to Ecuadorian personnel. The result of this cooperation was a series of three 1∶25,000 scale maps of historical mangrove extent and change from 1966 to 1982 in the southern Gulf of Guayaquil. This multitemporal study showed a 16% decrease in mangrove extent and a 27% increase in shrimp pond development. If these rates of change prevail into the future, mangroves in Ecuador will reach parity with shrimp ponds in 1984 and completely disappear by mid-1990. Recognizing the significance of this loss to shellfish and fish production along the coast, Ecuadorian scientists at CLIRSEN have subsequently initiated a nationwide mangrove mapping program to create a historical base for future mangrove management strategies.

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Terchunian, A., Klemas, V., Segovia, A. et al. Mangrove mapping in Ecuador: The impact of shrimp pond construction. Environmental Management 10, 345–350 (1986).

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Key words

  • Mangroves
  • Shrimp ponds
  • Ecuadorian Center for Remote Sensing
  • Coastal ecosystems
  • Mapping