Boardwalk Setiu (Setiu Wetlands), Terengganu | Malaysia
the largest and most intact coastal wetlands complex in the east coast, to be protected. This is a type of freshwater swamp that is dominated by the Melaleuca or gelam tree. Terengganu has the largest expanse of this forest-type which scientists say has conservation importance but has long been ignored.
Mud clam is an edible bivalve species buried in the stiff mud of mangroves. It is a non-seasonal species which can be found abundantly and widely distributed. It inhabits the muddy bottom of mangrove areas, or the adjacent mudflats. It grows to a maximum size 8-9 cm shell length, total weight of 180-210 g and is a potential aquaculture species.
Rich in animal life, Setiu Wetlands harbours 29 mammal species, 161 bird species as well as 36 reptilian and amphibian species but most importantly, it is home to the critically endangered painted and river terrapins.
The long, feathery leaves of the nipa palm are used by local populations as roof material for thatched houses or dwellings. The leaves are also used in many types of basketry and thatching, The young leaves are used to wrap tobacco for smoking.
But what is really needed is a comprehensive plan to improve management and protection of the area. This has to include zoning the land according to priority uses. Only then can we be sure that Setiu Wetlands will continue to provide beneficial goods and services.
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