200 species of birds spotted at Thane wetlands, new list shows

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2015 23:13 IST

If you are a nature enthusiast, look no further than the Thane wetlands to spot a wide variety of birds.

As many as 200 species of birds have been spotted in the mangroves and tidal flats along the Thane creek, a first-of-a-kind documentation has listed.

The creek area, designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), houses Pacific Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Pied Avocet, Eurasian Curlew, Black-headed Ibis and many others, several identified as uncommon.

The information has been documented in a colourful booklet, which will be released by the end of August.


Black-headed Ibis (Photo: Sunjoy Monga)


Caspian Tern (Photo: Avinash Bhagat)

The study on the creek’s avian inhabitants was done under the Coastal and Marine Protected Areas (CMPA) project of the government of India by the Maharashtra state mangrove cell, nature photographers Sunjoy Monga and six others.

N Vasudevan, chief conservator of forest, mangrove cell said, “Thane creek is varieties of birds congregate. It is an excellent example of how mangroves can support rich avifauna.”

The Thane creek wetlands extend over an area 63.91 sq km.


European Roller (Photo: Sunjoy Monga)

Vasudevan said the documentation will help in preparing the management plan for the proposed Thane creek wildlife sanctuary, which will be notified this month by the state government.

“The number of birds in the wetland has been increasing, thanks to the fairly decent protection of mangroves in Thane creek region,” said Monga. More birds can be seen in the migratory season than in summer, he said, adding Mumbaiites should use the booklet as an eye-opener to the vast biodiversity around the city.

The handbook states that aquatic species are the main attraction at the creek. The bulk of this aquatic avifauna comprises species of Waders, Flamingos, Sandpipers, Gulls and Terns.

“Large stretches of well-preserved mangroves attract thousands of these migrant and resident birds, making the place a treat for the eyes,” said Vasudevan.


Osprey (Photo: Sunjoy Monga)


Pacific Golden Plover (Photo: Sunjoy Monga)


Painted Stork (Photo: Sunjoy Monga)

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