Thursday, February 02, 2023
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Croc brings mangrove biodiversity into sharp focus

Greens say no one cares about reckless destruction of sea forests

NatConnect Foundation

It is not just about crocodiles which live in mangroves, it is about whole lot of biodiversity amid sea forests, said B N Kumar, director NatConnect Foundation. NAVI MUMBAI: Following the surfacing of a crocodile in marshy area near Navi Mumbai civic head-quarters, official warning notices have come up at several places across the city, particularly near water bodies. The civic body has cautioned the people against venturing into the backwater lakes as crocodiles might strike them It is not just about crocodiles which live in mangrove zones, there is a whole lot of biodiversity that thrives amid sea forests, said B N Kumar, director NatConnect Foundation. The crocodile episode has brought back the focus on the biodiversity that the mangrove zones support, environmentalists say. A host of animals, birds, insects and reptiles live in mangrove zones which are being recklessly destroyed across Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The official information obtained by NatConnect Foundation under the RTI Act shows that the construction will wreak havoc with the entire bio-diversity of the MMR as a number of wild life will be displaced. According to Mangrove Society of India (MSI) report, 11 types of mangrove species, the habitat of 177 species of resident and migratory birds, otters, turtles, fish, crabs, oysters, wild boar, monkeys, flying fox, fishing cats, civets, mongoose, wild cats etc. which frequent the mangroves for feeding and shelter will all be directly affected. The project threatens at least 32,000 mangroves – over thrice the size of Azad Maidan, said Kumar. Be it the Navi Mumbai SEZ, JNPT or CIDCO, the project proponents have been destroying mangroves without any CRZ clearances, he said. The burial of wetlands in Uran has already led to the seasonal migratory birds such as flamingos flocking alternative destinations like Talawe wetland in Navi Mumbai in unusually large numbers, said Nandakumar Pawar, head of Shri Ekvira Aai Pratishtan. (Pic courtesy: Awaaz Today)