Move aimed at conserving animal, bird species in the sanctuary
The Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change has declared 177.30 square kilometres surrounding the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS) as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ) in order to protect the sanctuary and its ecosystem from future threats in the Godavari estuary in Andhra Pradesh.
The total extent of the sanctuary is 235.70 square kilometres, including the entire Hope Island in the Bay of Bengal. The gazette of the ESZ was published on September 22 based on the draft prepared by the State government.
On the sea side of the sanctuary, the ESZ extends from 500 metres to 5 km excluding port limits, 50 metres towards the northern boundary, and up to 11.5 km towards the southern side. From Kakinada city side, the ESZ is restricted to 50 metres from the boundary line of the sanctuary.
The future development needs of Kakinada city, present activities of Kakinada port, and the primary livelihood activity (fishing) of the villagers settling around the sanctuary were the factors that necessitated the decision. The main objective is to protect and conserve the Fishing Cat, Indian Smooth-coated Otter, Olive Ridley Turtles and the bird species in the sanctuary.
The State government has been directed to prepare a Zonal Master Plan within two years to protect the ESZ.
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