Mumbai maps its biodiversity

Mangroves in Mumbai.   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre


In a first-of-its-kind attempt to visually empower Mumbai’s citizens with the resources they share the city with, a biodiversity map of the city to showcase the wildlife hotspots, mangrove forests, urban green spaces and over 90 species that can be spotted in the city has been illustrated.

Rohan Chakravarty, popularly known for his work under the title of Green Humour, is the man behind the map “that will serve as a reminder to Mumbaikars that they must act to protect Mumbai’s biodiversity, which has been under threat due to unsustainable development”.

This is part of a campaign Biodiversity by the Bay, initiated by the Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic, a citizen’s collective comprising Mumbaikars who wish to bring the issue of protecting biodiversity to the forefront.

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Mr. Chakravarty said, “I am a wildlife cartoonist. I have been working with forest departments on maps of national parks, forests. The Ministry of Mumbai’s Magic approached me in July and it took a month to execute the project. Usually I undertake field visits, but it wasn’t possible here due to the COVID-19 situation.”

This biodiversity map is part of a campaign Biodiversity by the Bay, initiated by a citizens’ collective.

This biodiversity map is part of a campaign Biodiversity by the Bay, initiated by a citizens’ collective.  


Mr. Chakravarty relied on available information, published material, books, research papers on species being discovered, and material available online. “The findings are amazing. These are totally different than what one thinks about Mumbai. From leopards in the heart of the city to marine biodiversity, this city has a lot to offer,” he said.


He said that he created this map with the motive to empower Mumbai's youth with a visual resource of the city's biodiversity, and a reminder to the government of the natural heritage we must conserve and coexist with. “The map also pays tribute to the Warli and Koli communities, and the very spirit of Mumbai,” added Mr. Chakravarty.

The campaign will culminate in an engagement with key stakeholders like the Brihanmumbai Mumbai Corporation, and writing to Aaditya Thackeray, Environment and Tourism Minister, to initiate conversations on the future of Mumbai’s biodiversity.

The campaign also includes an action plan on the protection of Lesser Flamingos and their habitats, given their significance to Mumbai; acknowledging Aarey as a forest and increasing the protection of Mumbai’s green cover; proposing a supportive policy for the Koli community’s livelihoods, in consultation with the community; and, protecting and growing Mumbai’s parks.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 7:08:02 AM |

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