The state may get its first flamingo sanctuary in the city. Taking into account the dwindling number of flamingoes flying into Mumbai, the state forest department is considering declaring a flamingo sanctuary at the Bhandup wetlands and along the Thane creek.
“Before that can happen, we will have to settle the legalities of land ownership. We plan to start work early next year,” said Praveen Pardeshi, principal secretary, forest department.
Earlier this month, Vanashakti, a non-government organisation (NGO), had requested the state forest department to protect the last few feeding grounds for the flamingo population.
While mangrove areas in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai have seen the arrival of a variety of migratory birds such as the lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, painted stork and spot-billed duck, their numbers have been steadily declining every year.
According to environmentalists, the reclamation of the Uran wetlands has brought down the flamingo population migrating into the city during winters from a lakh to 10,000.
“Wetlands are also feeding grounds for migratory birds such as flamingoes and various mammals. But these are slowly disappearing. Before the Bhandup wetland gets reclaimed, we would like it be notified as a flamingo sanctuary,” said Stalin D, project director, Vanashakti.