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Monday, 01 December 2014 02:00

Godavari mangroves

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EGREE Foundation

Welcome to Godavari mangroves, the second largest area of mangroves along the East Coast of India after the famous Sundarbans in West Bengal. Coringa wildlife sanctuary, a paradise for the nature lovers, is situated amidst the mangroves of the Godavari region. Lush green serene environs and rich flora and fauna have made this place the seventh heaven. Located on the backwaters of the Bay of Bengal, this sanctuary provides habitation to numerous endangered species, Fishing cat, otter, jackal, estuarine crocodile, sea turtle, sea gull, pelican, stork, heron, snipes, flamingos are a few to name the variety of species living in the mangrove.

As many as 236 species of birds are spotted so far in and around the sanctuary. Over 60,000 water birds visit this sanctuary every year. The two important nesting sites for the endangered olive ridley turtles Hope Island and Sacramento Island are located in this mangrove region. Fishing is the main source of livelihood for the entire 1.2 lakh population residing in the region. Most of them are still leading a conservative lifestyle and using traditional methods of fishing. A steady drop in the catch is posing a challenge to their Industrial development is taking place on a fast pace round the region, which is posing threats to the biodiversity of the mangroves. Steady increase in the marine traffic, release of industrial effluents into the water bodies, continuous dredging operations are a few challenges to name.

Conversion of agriculture lands for aquaculture, deforestation too are contributing to the environmental degradation of the sanctuary. Of course, the natural calamities too are contributing their might to the degradation. But, it is not possible to control the nature. What we can do to protect the biodiversity?

The EGREE Foundation has taken up the lead to sensitize the cross-section of the society. Seminars and workshops have been conducted for the elite. To create awareness among the people residing in the region, members of the foundation have made numerous field visits and interactions. Exhibitions and field visits formed part of the sensitization programme. Alternative livelihood to the residents is the need of the hour. This will help protecting the greenery and address the challenge of drop in the fish catch. Promotion of eco-friendly tourism is another major task taken up by the foundation. This is to sensitize the public at large about the bio-diversity and the immediate need to protect the endangered species.

 

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