‘Mangrove mitras’ arrive on the scene

An aerial view of Pallam, an Island surrounded by mangrove cover, in Godavari estuary in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh.   | Photo Credit: BYARRANGEMENT

In a massive research project on a distinctive wetland ecosystem in the Godavari estuary, including 235.7 square km of the Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (CWS), the first batch of 30 Godavari Mangrove Mitras (GMM) has been inducted for field research.

The Forest Department has selected a total of 150 people, including wetland experts, wildlife photographers, birders of Andhra Pradesh, as GMMs to explore the tranquil features of the Godavari estuary. A good number of mitras are girl students and women with an academic background in environmental studies.

The mitras are officially permitted to carry out mangrove restoration, monitoring water and soil qualities, tracking the wildlife — Fishing Cat and Indian Smooth Coated Otter, Estuarian Crocodile — monitoring of fish landing points, and any relevant scientific research by sparing their time and offering their expertise.

“The mangrove mitras’ contribution will be immense for exploration of the estuary and the wetland ecosystem surviving in it,” Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife-Eluru) Ananat Shankar told The Hindu.

Their prime focus will be Coringa which was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1978. The CWS has a spread of 235.7 on the North-East of the Godavari estuary with 32 creeks. It contains 11,176.82 hectares of mangrove vegetation cover and 11,851 hectares of the water body, supporting the Fishing Cat and the Estuarian Crocodile. Geographically, the sanctuary was formed between the confluence point of the River Godavari and the Bay of Bengal near Kakinada.

Applications invited

“The mitra selection process is still going on to increase the number of GMMs. Those interested could contact the Forest Department by sending a text message to 94408-10044,” said Mr. Anant Shankar.

The Forest Department is also developing an exclusive website, bringing the wetland experts on board for preparing strategies and helping the mitras expand their field-level studies.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2021 8:40:57 AM |

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