kakinada: The Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary would be developed as an ecotourism spot of international standards without damaging the ecology. The state government has issued orders to the Forest department to take up the work. In recent times, the number of visitors to the sanctuary is seeing an increase and the government expects that it has a major tourism potential.
According to East Godavari Riverine Estuarine Ecosystem (EGR EE) Foundation, the idea is to develop community-based tourism whi-ch would also create employment opportunities for the neighbouring villages. Setting up of a ‘Walk Board’ of international standards, two jetties for anchoring boats, erection of watch towers etc are being contemplated.
Conservator of Forests M. Ravi Kumar said the wildlife sanctuary will be developed as a tourism spot without damaging the ecology and by following the guidelines of the Union Government. The Coringa Sanctuary is the second largest patch of mangroves al-ong the East Coast, with a unique ecosystem, flora and fauna, rare mangrove species, as also otter, fishing cat, sea turtles etc.
It boasts of nearly 269 species of birds, of which 95 are migratory birds from Eastern Europe, Central and North Asia, flying in through the Central Asian Flyway. Some 78,000 to 88,000 water birds and 21 threatened bird species are located in the sanctuary known also as a ‘marine protected’ area. Hope Island and Sacramentao regions are important nesting sites for globally threatened Olive Ridley turtles and green turtles and a good site for over 200 breeding fin and Shell fish species.
“The area is rich in floral and faunal diversity and generates significant ecological and economic benefits such as shoreline protection, sustaining livelihoods, carbons sink services and others. It protects Kakinada Region from natural calamities like cyclones, storms, tsu-namis and coastal erosions,” said EGREE Foundation state project coordinator K. Tulsi Rao.
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