Birds of Thane Creek : A compact guide for bird enthusiasts launched

Following the declaration of the 17 sq. km Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, the Forest Minister Mr. Sudhir Mungantiwar launched the book ‘Birds of Thane Creek’ in Mumbai on August 13. This compact and easy-to-read guide for bird enthusiasts includes information of the more than 200 species found in Thane Creek. Mr. Sunjoy Monga has authored the booklet under the aegis of the GoI-GIZ project on ‘Sustainable Management and Conservation of Coastal and Marine Protected Areas (SC-CMPA)’.

Mr. Mungantiwar lauded the efforts of the Mangrove Cell in focussing on information that is critical at a time when the government has awarded protection to not only the mangroves as a species, but also to wetlands as an ecosystem. He also expressed his gratitude to the Indo-German Biodiversity Programme for their partnership with the Indian Government in supporting conservation efforts.

The book highlights how the avifaunal distribution pattern is the best visible gauge of good ecological conditions across the wetland and helps qualify the creek as a perfect candidate for one of the very important bird areas. Of more than 350 species of birds that have been observed across habitats in the Mumbai region, about 150 species are aquatic, divided between the coastal, brackish and the slightly inland freshwater. More than half of these comprise winter migrants from afar, and over a quarter of them could be termed highly habitat specific. In addition to that, several bird species that have been classified under set international criteria as variably under pressure, either locally, nationally or internationally, continue to be sighted here. Birds like Oriental Stork, Lesser Flamingo, Black-headed Ibis, Indian and Greater Spotted Eagles, White-bellied Sea-eagle, Eurasian Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Black-bellied Tern, Caspian Tern, European Roller, Indian Skimmer, Painted Stork and several thousands of Flamingos throng the Thane Creek wetlands during the winters. This is the best time to capture the sheer beauty in numbers, a sight rarely seen in an urban setting.

In the photograph R-L:

  1. A.K. Jha, Director General Social Forestry
  2. Vikas Kharge, Secretary (Forests)
  3. Sudhir Mungantiwar, Hon’ble Minister for Finance, Planning and Forest
  4. Sunjoy Monga, Author 'Birds of Thane Creek
  5. N. Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forests, Mangrove Cell