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Mangroves are salt - tolerant forest ecosystems found mainly in tropical and sub-tropical intertidal regions of the world.

They are trees or shrubs that have the common trait of growing in shallow and muddy salt water or brackish waters, especially along quiet shorelines and in estuaries.

They exhibit remarkable capacity for saltwater tolerance. Typically they produce tangled masses of arching roots that are exposed during low tides.

Mangroves do not appear on sandy beaches and rocky shores. A muddy substratum  of  varying depth and consistency's necessary for their growth.

The eco-system is highly fragile, subjected to long duration of intrusion as well as incessant physiological and morphological stresses, salinity effect , aeration and on slaught of wave action .

Mangrove forests are one of the most productive and biodiverse wetlands on earth. Yet, these unique coastal tropical forests are among the most threatened habitats  in  the world.

They may be disappearing more quickly than in land tropical rain forests , and so far, with little public notice. Growing in the intertidal areas and estuary mouths between land and sea, mangroves provide critical habitat for a diverse marine and terrestrial flora and fauna.

Healthy mangrove forests are key to a healthy marine ecology. In fact , mangrove forests fix more carbon dioxide per unit area than phytoplankton in tropical oceans.

Mangroves in India account for about 5 percent of the World’s mangrove vegetation and are spread over an area of about 4,500 a long the coastal States/UTs of the country. Sunderbans in West Bengal accounts for a little less than half of the total area under mangroves in India.

The Forest Survey of India is assessing the vegetation cover of the country including mangroves using remote sensing since 1983. It published its first assessment of mangroves of  India in 1987 and estimated it to be 4,046 km².

West Bengal has maximum of mangrove cover  in the country, followed by Gujarat and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

In India, mangroves occur on the West Coast, on the East Coast and on Andaman and Nicobar Islands, but in many places they are highly degraded. 

According to the Government of India (1987), India lost 40 percent of its mangrove area in the last century.

The National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) recorded a decline of 7000 ha of mangroves in India within the six-year period from 1975 to 1981.

No. Name State
1 Gulf of Khambat Gujarat
2 Gulf of Kutchh Gujarat
3 Malvan Maharashtra
4 Vasasi-Manori Maharashtra
5 Vaitarna Maharashtra
6 Shrivardhan Maharashtra
7 Vikroli Maharashtra
8 Mumbra-Diva Maharashtra
9 Kundalika-Ravdana Maharashtra
10 Veldur Maharashtra
11 Devgarh-Vijay Dur Maharashtra
12 Achra-Ratnagiri Maharashtra
13 Karwar Karnataka
14 Dakshin Kannada / Honnavar Karnataka
15 Coondapur Karnataka
16 Vembanad Kerala
17 Sunderbans West Bengal
18 Bhitarkanika Orissa
19 Mahanadi Orissa
20 Subernarekha Orissa
21 Devi Orissa
22 Dhamra Orissa
23 Bhitarkanika Orissa
24 Chilka Orissa
25 Coringa Andhra Pradesh
26 East Godavari Andhra Pradesh
27 Krishna Andhra Pradesh
28 Pichavaram Tamil Nadu
29 Muthupet Tamil Nadu
30 Ramnad Tamil Nadu
31 Pulicat Tamil Nadu
32 Kazhuveli Tamil Nadu
33 North Andamans Andaman & Nicobar Islands
34 Nicobar Andaman & Nicobar Islands

Last updated on: 21/10/2019


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