Coringa Wildlife Park Andhra India

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Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary Andhra Pradesh

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Location: in the Godavari Delta, 70 km southeast of Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh
Area: 23,570 ha
Altitude: Sea level

Description of site: A complex of mangrove swamps and coastal lagoons in the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, in the northeastern part of the Godavari Delta. Most of the Sanctuary consists of mangrove swamps, but there are several open shallow lagoons behind the shoreline in the south and central sections of the delta. The northernmost part of the delta is the northern tip of Godavari Point, a peninsula 20 km in length which encloses Kakinada Bay (11,000 ha). Thesouthernmostof the delta's principal channels links up with the Krishna Delta to the south. The total area of mangroves in the two deltas combined may now be as little as 10,000 ha. During October and November, freshwater floods large areas of the delta; the seasonal variation in salinity is thus very high, ranging from 20-30 ppt during the hot, dry season (March-May), to less than 10 ppt during the rainy season

Climatic conditions: Tropical monsoon climate

Principal vegetation: The mangrove forests of the Godavari and Krishna Deltas are unique in India because of their stands of Sonneratia apelata and assemblage of Avicennia species. Mangroves include species of Rhizophora, Aegiceras, and Excoecaria. The grass Myriostachia wightiana is very common in both deltas, but practically unknown elsewhere. Two principal halophytic communities occur: those growing on the river banks and those growing on the ancient alluvial soils in the interior of the delta

Conservation measures taken: Protected within the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (23,570 ha), established in July 1978. The Sanctuary was created partly for the re-introduction of the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), using aidmals reared at Hyderabad from eggs from the Andaman Islands. Three crocodiles, approximately 1.2 m in length were released in 1978. The Sanctuary is managed by the Divisional Forest Officer, Kakinada. A management plan which has been drafted is now being implemented

Land use: Fishing; subsistence agriculture on the landward edge of the Sanctuary

Disturbances and threats: The principal disturbance in the mangrove forest is from small-scale fishing operations. Expansion of the human population in the agricultural hinterland and encroachment on the landward edge of the Sanctuary are continuing to cause further problems for the management of the Sanctuary

Economic and social values: No information

Fauna: An important area for a variety of resident and migratory waterfowl. Species known to occur include Pelecanus philippensis, presumably as a non-breeding visitor, various species of heron, egret, stork, ibis, and Phoenicopterus ruber, the latter in large numbers. Mammals include Lutra sp., Felis viverrina, and Canis aureus. Attempts are currently being made to re-establish the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in the area. Marine turtles occur within the Sanctuary, but details are lacking

Special floral values: The grass Myriostachia wightiana is virtually unknown outside the Krishna and Godavari Deltas

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