A 17 sq.km stretch along Thane Creek may be declared a flamingo sanctuary by India’s Maharashtra state. More than 25,000 flamingos arrived at the creek.
“The decision has been taken at the State Wildlife Board meeting held in Mantralaya on Monday. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis presided the meeting which was attended by Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and other forest officials.
“Thane Creek will be known as ‘Flamingo Sanctuary’ as over 25,000 flamingo turned up at the stretch of 17 sq km of Creek. So it has a lot importance of flamingo,” Mungantiwar told TOI.
“The area will get protected as forest status once the central Environment and Forests ministry gives its clearance and notifies the area as a sanctuary, said sources.
“Currently, flamingos are not protected by the forest department as it has no control over the area. Fishermen frequent the mud flats for crabs that cause disturbance to birds. Sources said that there was an active gang, which hunted flamingos for its meat most of them are from nearby areas. Though some of the gang members were arrested but secret poaching is still continues.
“A non-government organization Vanashakti has submitted the proposal to the government to protect the birds and mudflats along the Thane creek, which was cleared by CM in a meeting.
“The mangrove forests along the creek in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane witness the arrival of a variety of migratory birds like lesser flamingo, greater flamingo, pied avocet, painted stork and spot-billed duck. Apart from Flamingo, over 205 species of birds arrives on creek are in thousands during high tide and low tide, sources said.
“The government has also decided to approach UNESCO to get Thane creek as Ramsar Site status, as it as huge mangrove area spread over both the side of creek. It is one of the biggest mangrove site in Asia. The Ramsar site status means an international site having the convention on Wetlands of international importance especially as waterfowl habitat.”