The Natural Wildlife Sanctuary
A blend of entertainment and education is the best package to grab for summer vacation and the famous Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary on the Kakinada city outskirts is offering it. The community–based eco tourism (CBT) package from the Forest Department is providing an opportunity to the public to go deep into the mangroves on the newly laid interior roads, besides enjoying a boat ride till the sea–mouth.
Known as the second largest mangrove in the country after Sundarbans in West Bengal, the Coringa mangrove is famous for its flora and fauna. The Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary, named after a tiny village called Coringa, is situated in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh. The region covers an area of 235 square kilometers. It was declared a sanctuary in the year 1978 as it was the home of different
and rare species of Mangroves and rare species of birds and animals. Situated at a distance of 20 kilometers from Kakinada and 70 kilometers from Rajahmundry, the Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary is formed in the delta and estuary region of the River Godavari. The government declared the region a sanctuary to conserve the natural mangrove vegetation that grows in the region. Mangroves are salt tolerant forest ecosystems of tropical and sub – tropical intertidal regions of the world.
The Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary is rich in flora and fauna. The mangrove plants have been categorized into thirty-five species that belong to a group of 24 families. The mangrove plants have adapted themselves to the environment in which it grows. The sanctuary also has a heavy growth of shrubs and herbs. Numerous species of salt tolerant plant species constitutes its flora, which include tropical and subtropical floral species such as Rhizophora, Avincinia, Sonneratia Aegiceros, and others. They normally occur between high waterlevel and near about mean sea level along the sheltered shores, estuaries, tidal creeks, back-waters, lagoons, marshes and mud-flats. Wherever conditions favour, the Mangroves may form extensive and productive forests in the sheltered coastal lines. The mangroves contain a highly specialised community of plants associated with animal species which are not capable of surviving in any other situations. Mangroves occur in Andhra Pradesh in estuaries of Krishna and Godavari rivers.
Importance of Mangroves to Mankind
1.Mangroves forest act as a barrier against the coastal storms, high velocity winds, and the high tidal waves thus protecting the villages and the agricultural land.
2.Mangroves are a highly productive ecosystem, and supply nutrients to the marine living resources and thus increasing the Fish, Prawn, Crab etc., production.
3.Mangroves provide shelter to the wildlife particularly as nesting ground for migratory birds.
4.They protect the coast-line from erosion and also it reclaims land from the sea.
5.They build up and extend coastal soil by accumulation and stabilisation of sediments.
6.They provide highly valued products like timber for boat building, Bark for tanning, Seedlings for food etc.
A unique feature of the sanctuary is the nesting of the Olive Ridley-Sea Turtle in the months of January to March in the 18 kilometer long sand path in the sanctuary. The Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary also a collection of 125 species of birds that include the Crested Serpant Eagle, Scarlet Minivet, Indian Roller, Black capped Kingfisher, Oriental Dwarf Kingfisher and White bellied Woodpecker.
The Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary provides habitats to numerous endangered and protected species of animals and plants. The dynamic mangroves ecosystem of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary supports biodiversities such as Fishing Cats, Otters, Jackals, Estuarine Crocodiles, Sea Turtles, Sea Gulls, Pelicans, Storks, Herons, Snipes, Flamingos, to name only a few. However, the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is renowned for its Salt Water Crocodiles. Numerous species of salt tolerant plant species constitutes its flora, which include tropical and subtropical floral species such as Rhizophora, Avincinia, Sonneratia Aegiceros, and others. Over 120 species of birds are found in this wildlife sanctuary.
The best time to visit Coringa Wild Life Sanctuary is between the months of October and May. Pedal boats and 20-seater boats are available here for those who wish to go boating. The boating provides an opportunity to have a very close glimpse of the mangrove for about 40 minutes. The entry fee for eco-tourism is Rs. 10 per head for elders and Rs. 5 per child. Various boating packages are available that range from Rs. 400 to Rs. 2,500 per boat of a capacity of 20 persons.
HOW TO REACH
Road: It is well connected by road from the town of Kakinada through the Kakinada-Yanam route.
Rail: The nearest railway station is Kakinada.
Road: It is at a distance of 70kms from Rajahmundry and 20 kms from Kakinada by road. It is well connected by state buses.
The conservator of forests, Rajahmundry Cirle, Rajahmundry. Tel:0883 - 2444247
Divisional Forest Officer, Wildlife Management Division Opposite Govt.Arts college Rajahmundry.