7,400ha of Australian mangroves ‘died of thirst’
loves and believes in the Nat will surely be looked after.”
Moments later, he leaves his flower-filled grotto to begin the ritual. Standing at the centre of the crowd in one of the shrines, he begins to dance, clutching Ko SYDNEY: Thousands of hectares of mangroves in Australia’s remote north “died of thirst” last year, scientists said yesterday, in the largest climate-related incident of its kind ever recorded.
Some 7,400 hectares, stretching 1,000km across the semi-arid Gulf of Carpentaria, died, according to researchers from Australia’s James Cook University. The so-called die-back was confirmed by aerial and satellite surveys, with subsequent analysis of weather and climate records leading to the conclusion that they died of thirst.
World-renowned mangrove Gyi Kyaw’s symbols: a statue of a chicken and a bowl that symbolises a gambling pot.
But for true believers, the festival is about more than just fun and debauchery — it is a chance to improve your fortunes for the ecologist Norm Duke, from James Cook University, said three factors came together to produce the unprecedented event.
“From 2011 the coastline had experienced below-average rainfalls, and the 2015/16 drought was particularly severe,” he said as the findings were published in the Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research.
“Secondly, the temperatures in the area were at record levels and thirdly, some mangroves were left high and dry as the sea level dropped about 20cm during a particularly strong El Nino.” AFP future by making merit.
“This is our culture and custom,” said Tin Hlaing, 73, who has come to the festival every year since she was six. “He (Ko Gyi Kyaw) always takes care of us.” AFP
Devotees watching a medium invoking spirits at a shrine in Shwe Ku Ni village during the Ko Gyi Kyaw Nat festival, near Mandalay.