Navi Mumbai has an abundance of green cover, especially in the form of mangrove wetlands, which are home to hundreds of marine and avian species. Keeping this in mind, the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is mulling over the idea of setting up bird-watching towers.
Although, the exact locations are yet to be demarcated, areas under consideration include wetland patches in Airoli, Kharghar, Nerul and Vashi. Through this initiative, the civic body plans to promote awareness among citizens about migratory birds that frequent these areas every year.
Abhijeet Yeule, an engineer from environment department, NMMC, said, “We will set up towers at spots that are easily accessible to people and attract migratory birds in large numbers.”
Recently, the state government declared the northern part of Thane creek, stretching from Airoli to Vashi, as a flamingo sanctuary. It is now been reserved under Section 18 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
From November to May every year, migratory birds like flamingos are spotted in large numbers in mangrove patches between Belapur and Airoli. Navi Mumbai’s mangrove wetland eco-system houses several water birds, both local and migratory.
As per data available with NMMC, there are more than 168 species of birds present in these wetlands. A total of 77 species belonging to 35 families were recorded in Uran mudflats alone. Part of Thane creek and Uran creek are key bio-diversity hotspots to observe migratory birds.
The data further revealed that currently Navi Mumbai is home to more than 168 bird species, 80 species of reptiles and amphibians, 140 species of butterflies, 125 species of marine fish and over 800 species of flora.