Avian Diversity In Lokhandwala Mangroves Biology Essay

Abstraction: Mangroves are countries of rich diverseness. It besides houses several species of migratory and occupant birds and therefore, besides adds up to a rich avian diverseness. Research workers have recorded about 135 species of birds in the Mahim brook Rhizophora mangles, an country near to my field of survey. Some of the species recorded consisted of distant migrators, resident bird species, local migrators and resident migrators. Similarly, the Lokhandwala Rhizophora mangle is home to several such species of birds and this contributes to the urban avian diverseness. The Lokhandwala mangroves attract several fervent bird spectators each twelvemonth. However, the current anthropogenetic activities are invariably doing force per unit area on these natural home grounds. The major ground doing hurtful effects on Rhizophora mangles is the theodolite dumping station belonging to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation ( BMC ) . The dumping station was started in the twelvemonth ___________ and thenceforth tremendous measures of solid wastes have been dumped in the bosom of this ecologically of import country. Besides, there have been other anthropogenetic activities in the Lokhandwala Lake present along this country. Activities like rinsing, bathing and spiritual rites are carried out on regular footing by slumdwellers and migratory populations in this lake. The lake besides is an of import portion of this country and attracts many migratory aquatic birds. My focal point for this essay is on the avian diverseness, as the turning anthropogenetic activities have altered the full ecosystem and I assume the species diverseness has besides been altered. My survey has shown that the feeding wonts of some species have besides been changed where these species have now become more dependent on the incoming refuse to do their day-to-day food demands. Besides the survey high spots on the decreased chance of sitings of some species of birds and this may be contributed by the increased activities of dumping doing perturbation to the natural home grounds of birds.

Research Question: What are the effects of anthropogenetic activities and the addition of invasive species of birds on the native avian biodiversity of the Lokhandwala Mangroves?

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Rationale: Lokhandwala-Versova Rhizophora mangles one of the oldest in Mumbai are under changeless menace of being wiped off. This is chiefly due to the anthropogenetic activities in the country particularly the theodolite point of the BMC waste land which is impacting the avian diverseness of the country adversely and besides the domestic activities carried out around the lake. Recently, the lake was besides used for submergence of Ganapathi Idols during the Ganesh festival. The Rhizophora mangles are life rescuers and should be protected. The Lokhandwala-Versova Rhizophora mangles played a major function in absorbing immense sums of H2O during the 2005 Mumbai inundations. This was why the Lokhandwala country was n’t affected every bit severely as the other bordering countries. However, late the Brihan Mumbai municipal corporation ( BMC ) , have now started dumping waste in the bosom of the Lokhandwala- Versova mangrove site. This seems to be impacting the avian diverseness adversely which lies in that country.

Introduction: Mangroves are trees and bushs that grow in saline coastal home grounds in the Torrid Zones and semitropicss. Mangroves form a characteristic saline forest or bush land home ground called Rhizophora mangle swamp or mangrove forest.[ 1 ]Mangroves are tropical and semitropical swampy woods consisting of many unrelated genera that portion the common ability to turn in saline, coastal home ground and interfaces where land and sea meet. ] These systems normally act as a buffer ecotonal zone between land and oceans and are capable of digesting violent seasonal air currents. They play a really of import function in keeping high productiveness and rich biotic diverseness of coastal Waterss and are of involvement from the economic, scientific every bit good as wildlife direction point of position.

The evergreen, broadleaf trees of the Rhizophora mangle woods are extremely adapted to the emphasiss of implosion therapy and salt. The versions include specialised root-cell membranes which prevent or cut down the entry of salts ; lucubrate tube-like external respiration constructions called pneumatophores which grow vertically upwards from the roots and live-bearing seedlings that germinate on the parent tree and thereby diminish their mortality rates in the unfavourable environment.

Where do Mangroves happen?

Since Rhizophora mangles are distributed in the tropical and sub tropical parts where temperatures and humidness are high, these ecosystems are absent in ice chest countries like Europe, north-polar and Antarctic. Asia has recorded the maximal elaborate spots of rain forest, India and Bangladesh being a few of the most of import countries. The Sunderbans which are distributed here comprise of big biodiversity and besides covers a big country of the East seashore of Indian and Bangladesh.

7 % of the universe ‘s entire Rhizophora mangles are located in India which covers a entire country of about 6,740 sq. km. Out of this 80 % of the Rhizophora mangles are distributed along the East seashore comprising of the Sunderbans and Bhitarkanika and the islands of Andaman and Nicobar in the South of India.

The west seashore comprises of the staying 20 % of the Rhizophora mangles which are scattered between Kutch and Kerala. The ground for such a restricted Rhizophora mangle screen is the curious coastal construction and the nature of estuaries formed by the comparatively little and non-perennial rivers except Narmada and Tapi.


Zonation in Mangroves

Mangroves along a tropical bay characteristically show Zonation. In India this Zonation may be really typical ( east seashore of India ) or unifying ( west seashore of India ) . A really wide and general differentiation would be: –

1. Proximal Zone ( Front Rhizophora mangles )

This zone is towards H2O forepart, capable to regular tidal consequence where strength of dirt accretion and flood is a uninterrupted procedure. The Rhizophora mangle species in this zone are specially adapted with stilt roots, prop roots for stableness and anchorage.

2. Middle Zones ( Mid Rhizophora mangles )

Above the forepart mangroves the species develop a strong clasp fast in the signifier of knee roots or dead set roots as a particular acceptance for back uping the vertical bole.

3. Distal Zone ( Back mangroves )

Towards island country this species of Rhizophora mangles produce buttresses. By and large the salt is on lower side in this zone happening towards hill sides where run off of fresh H2O is for a drawn-out period. The continuance of tidal submergence is low in this zone compared to look Rhizophora mangles.

However, the Zonation in Rhizophora mangles is more complex and varies from topographic point to topographic point. Every species has its ain degree of salt tolerance. Estuaries on east seashore show distinguishable Zonation as compared to that of the West seashore. The high salt scope on the east seashore estuaries may be the chief ground for distinguishable Zonation at that place. The scope and force of tidal action besides play a deciding function in creative activity and care of zones as distribution of seeds or propagules is influenced by tidal action. Besides, tides do act upon the salt in an estuary.[ 2 ]

Distribution of Mangroves of the Mumbai Metropolitan part

Distribution of Rhizophora mangles as per Survey of India Topsheets ( 1968 ) : The country of about 350 sq. km i.e. 7 % of the entire mensural country of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region of 4236 sq. kilometer is mud-flat – which is coastal wet land. In these Topsheets the Rhizophora mangles are non individually identified.

Distribution of Rhizophora mangles in 1991: An country of about 95.43 sq. km i.e. 2.25 % of the country of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region was under Rhizophora mangles in 1991. Mangrove classs of sparse and dense were identified utilizing the readings of orbiter images.

Distribution of Rhizophora mangles in 1997: Deforestation was stopped and plans to protect the Rhizophora mangles and advance their growing were undertaken in the period between 1991 and 1997 taking to an addition in the country under Rhizophora mangles.

Methods for informations aggregation: The Lokhandwala Mangrove country has a fresh H2O organic structure called the Lokhandwala lake. There are several species of birds sited here. For understanding the biodiversity of the Lokhandwala Mangroves and its bordering lake, birds were straight identified utilizing field glassess. The mangrove country being a harsh ecosystem, numbering birds utilizing different bird study methods was non possible. Hence, with the aid of an bird watcher I was able to place species of birds that were seen in the Rhizophora mangles, the lake and the theodolite dumping land. The country therefore has varied home grounds for eating and nesting of birds.


The 2005 rains in Mumbai and the flood that followed manifested the effect of fiddling with the ecology of delicate ecosystems like Rhizophora mangles. If merely Mumbai ‘s Mithi river and Mahim creek Rhizophora mangles would n’t hold been destroyed by the builders fewer figure of people would hold died and belongings harm would hold been well less as Rhizophora mangles do hold H2O recollective belongingss.

Builders, metropolis contrivers, even some of our best known designers in the race for development and hard currency have been engaging a quiet ( sometimes non so quiet ) war against Rhizophora mangles and wetlands, non merely in Mumbai but across the state. This conflict was fought and won by the builders who about closed out the oral cavity of the Mithi river and ended up repossessing 700 estates of Rhizophora mangles swamps in the Mahim brook which is the lone mercantile establishment of the river which flows into the Arabian sea.

Millions of Mumbaikars pass these Rhizophora mangles some of them inquiring what these soiled muddy weeds turning pointlessly along the shoreline are and the others non trouble oneselfing to hold a expression at them. Mangroves are gutsy survivors-They represent the spirit of Mumbai. Very few people understand the importance of these Rhizophora mangles that they act as the buffer between land and sea.

Traveling by the stats mangrove diverseness in Mumbai has decreased well over the last decennary. Mumbai had over 37 sq. kilometer of mangrove country in the 90 ‘s. Areas of the Thane brook, mahim, Versova, gorai were covered with immense balls of Rhizophora mangles. The decennary merely gone ( 2000-2010 ) by has seen a terrible dip. Mumbai has lost possibly 40 per centum of what existed in the last decennary or so mostly due to renewal of lodging, slums, refuse mopess and sewerage intervention.

Lakhs of Mumbai occupants had to digest inundations during the recent rains mostly due to the builders obstinate war against the Rhizophora mangle swamps in Mumbai. Following the way of the boosters of bandra kurla composite, they ruthlessly replaced these Rhizophora mangles with edifices therefore gaining 1000000s worth through existent estate all under the safe roof of ‘development ‘ .

A huge spot of the Rhizophora mangle ecosystem is found in countries of Versova, Seven Bungalows, Yari Road and Lokhandwala Back Road.

The coastal regulative zone ( CRZ ) Presentment of 1991, was given under the environment protection act 1986. Under the CRZ presentment, the coastal countries were divided into four zones as per their importance for preservation and the grade of perturbation of these sensitive countries. The Rhizophora mangles are classified under CRZ 1 which consists of all those coastal countries with delicate ecosystems and any perturbation caused by any anthropogenetic activities in this country is wholly prohibited. It was environmental militant Rishi Agarwal who anticipated that the Rhizophora mangles were under menace from refuse by who other than the BMC. It was cleat to any careful perceiver that refuse was sloping over into the Rhizophora mangles from the theodolite refuse shit for K/west ward due to the propinquity of the two.

A recent survey shows that the Lokhandwala Rhizophora mangles are under changeless menace from developers and the BMC dumping land. However local action groups like the Save Andheri Versova Environment – SAVE group and Lokhandwala environment action group – LEAG are playing an of import function in salvaging these Rhizophora mangles and countries along it and besides the bio-diversity of this country. The country has now become a site for birdwatchers and several migratory birds have been recorded in the yesteryear. However, the increasing anthropogenetic activities may take to the diminution of these migratory populations and besides of the native species.

Anthropogenetic factors doing the impairment of the Lokhandwala Rhizophora mangle ecosystem:

The chief anthropogenetic factor that has lead to a alteration and impairment of the ecosystem is the presence of the BMC transitional refuse landfill site in the bosom of the Rhizophora mangles.

Now, upon come ining the Rhizophora mangles more refuse was to be seen chiefly because of the human activities inside this unbarred zone and besides because birds like egrets, isolated Canis familiariss and crows tend to pick up refuse, pilfer it for nutrient and so drop it when they travel over these countries. This sort of refuse inside the Rhizophora mangles disrupts the flow of H2O taking to a badly water-logged status that is damaging to the working of the ecosystem. The refuse merely does non look to halt! Even in the distant countries that are non really likely to hold any human intervention have dozenss of plastics and other refuse merely strewn approximately.

From indoors, the nucleus Rhizophora mangle zone a awful site is seeable – that of hemorrhoids of refuse!

There is a little mandir near the lake that is used by the slum-dwellers of the country. Because of this Garlands and other objects used in worship can be seen in the H2O. This leads to an addition in the metal contents of the H2O Ganpati submergences are besides carried out in the H2O. The graven images do non fade out for a figure of hebdomads and kill all the zoology in the H2O. Recent scientific analysis have shown that the concentration of lead and other metals besides increased because of these submergences. There is besides the job of migratory workers that set up huts nearby to the H2O organic structure and so utilize it for rinsing and bathing intents. This leads to the accretion of nitrates and phosphates in the H2O organic structure taking to its eutrophication. All these factors have been lending to the diminution of the one time – booming ecosystem and hence the birds booming in this ecosystem.

Rishi agarwal, an environmental militant and co-founder of ‘Mangrove Society of India ‘ along with celebrated bird spectator Sunjoy Monga and other co-workers carried out a bird watching session on 1st Feb 2009 at the Lokhandwala mangrove site and recorded the undermentioned species during the forenoon and eventide session.



Spot-billed duck

Common Moorhen

Bronze-winged Jacana

Spotted Sandpiper

Green Sandpiper

Yellow Bittern

Cattle egret

At least six Spot-billed Duck

Small egret

Pond Heron

Small Cormorant

Purple Heron

Small Grebe

Brahminy Kite

Black Kite


Steppe Eagle – towards landfill site

White-throated Kingfisher

Common Kingfisher

Alexandrine Parakeet

Ring-necked Parakeet

Common Myna

House Sparrow

Large-billed Crow

House Crow

Red-whiskered Bulbul

Red-vented Bulbul

Blyth ‘s Reed Warbler

Green Warbler

Purple-rumped Sunbird

Greater Coucal ( Crow-pheasant )


Golden Oriole

White-throated Fantail ( naming )

Ashy Prinia

Long-tailed Shrike

Based on this secondary information, a survey was undertaken by me in two stages across a three twenty-four hours period to enter the birds and so compare these sightings in and around the Lokhandwala Rhizophora mangles. The first stage of entering these birds was undertaken in November 2009. The 2nd stage was carried out a month subsequently in December 2009 and both the recordings were compared with each other and besides with the recordings carried out in February 2009.

Observation: It was observed that the birds recorded in February could non be spotted in November. However, a few species likeaˆ¦ . Were spotted in January which matched the recordings of February 2009.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

White breasted kingfisher

White breasted kingfisher

White breasted kingfisher

White eared bulbul

White eared bulbul

Cattle egret

Cattle egret

Indian pool Hero

Indian pool Hero

Indian pool Hero

Bar-headed goose

Purple-rumped sunbird

Purple-rumped sunbird

Purple-rumped sunbird


Small Phalacrocorax carbo

Small Phalacrocorax carbo




Birds identified:

White breasted kingfisher: A superb turquoise-blue kingfisher with deep brownish caput, cervix and underparts, a conspicuous white ‘shirt forepart ‘ and long, heavy, pointed ruddy measure. A white wing-patch prominent in flight.

Distribution: Plains and lower hills throughout the Indian Union ; Bangladesh ; Pakistan ; sri Lanka ; Myanmar. Four races based on size and colour differences.

Habits: the most familiar of our kingfishers and besides the least dependent upon H2O. Seen at Ponds, puddles, rain filled ditches, inundated Paddy Fieldss and near the shore, but besides in light wood at considerable distances from H2O.

White eared bulbul – Pycnonotus leucotis

Field characters – An earth-brown bulbul with black caput, glittering white cheeks, and sulphur xanthous under root of tail.

Distribution – the Himalayas, Pakistan, western and cardinal India.

Habits -Tame and confiding. It will eat nutrient garbages. It besides eats insects and flower nectar.

Cattle egret – Bubulcus ibis

Field characters: in non-breeding pure white feather distinguished from the small egret by colour of measure which is xanthous non black.

Distribution: Throughout the Indian brotherhood ; Bangladesh ; Pakistan ; Sri Lanka ; Myanmar.

Food: chiefly grasshoppers, bluebottle flies, cicalas and other insects: besides toads, lizards, fish etc. Banyan capsules avidly gulped down in season. Roosts at dark in favourite trees and portions those with crows, minas and other birds.

The bird is normally known to feed on ectozoans of cowss or herbivores. However, these were seen scrounging on refuse. Therefore, it can be concluded that the change of the home ground has besides resulted in an change of the eating wonts and those species of birds.

Indian pool Hero – Ardeola grayii

Field features – an egret-like fen bird chiefly crude brown when at remainder, but with glossy white wings, tail and hindquarters flashing into prominence instantly it flies.

Distribution – Found throughout the Indian brotherhood ; Bangladesh ; Pakistan ; Sri Lanka ; Myanmar ; fields and up to about 1000m lift.

Habits – Found wherever there is H2O, river, jheel, roadside ditch, kutcha good, or temple pool, frequently in the thick of thickly settled towns. Besides on the seashore in the Rhizophora mangle swamps, mudflats, etc.

Food – toads, fish, pediculosis pubis and insects. Flight typically heron – steady flying beats with cervix pulled in. Roosts in big leafy trees in assorted folds of crows and other birds

Bar-headed goose – Anser indicus

Field features – a gray chocolate-brown white goose with white caput and sides of cervix.

Distribution – in winter throughout north and north-east India ; rare in cardinal India ; Bangladesh ; Pakistan ; Myanmar.

Habits -Rather crepuscular and nocturnal.

Food – chiefly green shoots of winter such as wheat or gm.

Purple-rumped sunbird – Nectarinia zeylonica

Field characters – upperparts and chest glittering metallic ruby viridity and purple ; lower parts yellow. Rump is metallic blue purple.

Shikra – Accipiter badius

Field characters: a lightly bulky hawk ash-grey bluish Grey above and white below, cross-barred with rusty brown.

Distribution – throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar.

Habits – avoids heavy forest. From its sentinel in a leafy subdivision it swoops down and carries off its quarry before the victim is cognizant of any danger. Flight is fleet, several rapid flying shots followed by a semivowel.

Food – lizards, mice, squirrels, birds, etc.

Small cormorant – Phalacrocorax Niger

A glossy black duck like H2O bird with a longish stiff tail, and slender, compressed measure hooked at the tip.

Distribution – Throughout India, Nepal Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka

Habits – found on all the inland Waterss ; besides brackish lagunas and tidal brook. Lives entirely on fish which it chases and gaining controls under H2O. When satiated it perches on a stone or interest near H2O and prohibitionists itself with outstretched wings.

Crow – Crow splendens

Field characters – Grey cervix and smaller in size to separate it from the black jungle crow. Sexual activities are likewise.

Distribution – throughout India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka.

Habits – possibly the most familiar bird of Indian towns and small towns. They have no peculiar nutrient penchants. Will eat about anything – dead cloaca rat, offal, carrion, kitchen garbages and garbage, locusts, white ants, fruit grain and eggs.

A utile scavenger but besides a serious threat to defenseless cosmetic bird species in urban countries.

Discussion: Wetlands organize a major type of ecosystem with distinguishable physical, climatic and biotic features. Mangroves being wetlands excessively have curious physical and biotic features. However, these countries have ever been prone to devastation by human anthropogenetic activities. This is terrible in the instance of a metropolitan metropolis like Mumbai which is the economic capital, where development is at a changeless rise, where employment is reasonably easy accomplishable and infinite is ever a cause of concern, such natural home grounds like Rhizophora mangles tend to do up for the scarceness of land by the procedure of renewal.


Understudied, Mumbai mangroves can supply a big base for research chances. While macro vegetations is small studied, micro vegetations and zoologies of Mumbai coastline remains understudied.

Mangroves are valuable for commanding pollution


Some species of Rhizophora mangle vegetations and fauna act as bio indexs. The pollution of the H2O organic structure can be determined by the presence or absence of these species.

Shelled molluscs can non last in acidic H2O – their shells are dissolved by such H2O

Indian skimmer – Rynchops albicollis is highly sensitive to contaminated H2O and its disappearing is a distinguishable mark of surface-water pollution.

The black-winged pile – Himantopus Himantopus is known for its high degree of tolerance to polluted Waterss and its laterality is an index of hapless H2O quality.


Legislation- Mangroves are protected lawfully under the undermentioned Acts in Mumbai:

Maharashtra Tree Act of 1984.

Environment Protection Act 1986 ( Coastal Regulatory Zone Notification of 1991 )

Forest Conservation Act 1980


Survey and limit of mangrove country including function of debauched Rhizophora mangles countries utilizing distant detection every bit good as land study.

Regular patrolling in brook to look into possible devastation of bing Rhizophora mangles and protecting rare species of Rhizophora mangles found in these islands.

Ecological Restoration of debauched Rhizophora mangles by raising baby’s rooms and refilling degraded Rhizophora mangle countries through unreal regeneration.

Promotion and consciousness run through movie shows, forming seminars, nature cantonments, administering promotion stuffs etc.


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