The first flamingo sanctuary in Thane to start from February 1

According to the state mangrove cell, the sanctuary boat ride will help to boost the biodiversity in the mangrove area which receives around 40,000 flamingos every year during the winter

The first flamingo sanctuary in Thane to start from February 1

With depleting biodiversity day-by-day due to increased levels of pollution, it’s difficult to spot rare animals in Mumbai. In an attempt to conserve city’s flora and fauna, the Maharashtra Mangrove cell will be starting a boat ride through the Thane creek mangroves to watch flamingos and other wetland birds. The ride services start from February 1. 

In order to protect its bird population, the 1,690-hectare area covered by the trip was declared as a flamingo sanctuary in August 2017 as the area attracts more than 40,000 flamingos and other migratory birds as well every year who come to feed during the winter.   

The one-hour ride along the 10 km thick mangrove cover will start from Airoli in Navi Mumbai to Vashi and back. The journey will use a 24-seater boat and also an eight-seater boat to enter less accessible areas. The boats will be run at a regulated speed so as to not disturb the birds. 

According to N Vasudevan, additional principal chief conservator of forest, state mangrove cell, earlier, opportunities to view flamingos in Mumbai were very few and it was possible from a distance at remote locations such as Sewri and Uran. The surrounding wetland patches where most of the biodiversity follows are also detached from the mainland. A regulated tourism in the sanctuary will enable the visitors to watch these migratory birds and the mangrove ecosystem from a stone’s throw.

Boating activities will be inaugurated either on January 21 or 29. The services will be opened to the public on February 1, as informed by Vasudevan. 

The fare for one seat on the large boat ‘Flamingo’ will cost ₹300 on weekdays and ₹400 on weekends. Groups of seven can hire the seven-seater boat ‘Kaustubh’ for ₹5,000.

Each boat will have a guide trained by the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The visitors will also be given a manual about the birds of Thane creek.

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