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Last Updated : Feb 13, 2018 08:47 AM IST | Source: PTI

Maharashtra records highest growth in mangrove cover in India

Maharashtra has reported the highest growth in mangrove cover, of 82 square kilometres, in the last two years in the country, said a forest official.

Scarlet ibis fly near the banks of a mangrove swamp located at the mouth of the Calcoene River on the coast of Amapa state, northern Brazil on April 6, 2017. (Reuters)
Scarlet ibis fly near the banks of a mangrove swamp located at the mouth of the Calcoene River on the coast of Amapa state, northern Brazil on April 6, 2017. (Reuters)

Maharashtra has reported the highest growth in mangrove cover, of 82 square kilometres, in the last two years in the country, said a forest official.

"The state's mangrove cover increased from 222 sq km to 304 sq km, registering an increase of 37 percent over the previous assessment in 2015. It has been mentioned in the State of Forest Report 2017 published by the Forest Survey of India today," said N Vasudevan, Chief Conservator of Forest and head of the State Mangrove Cell today.

"According to the report, the mangrove cover in the country increased by 181 sq km during this period. Of this, 45 percent was contributed by Maharashtra. This is the highest recorded in the country. Andhra Pradesh comes a distant second with an increase of 37 sq km," he said.

Raigad district had recorded the maximum increase of 29 sq km of mangrove cover followed by Thane and Palghar which together registered an increase of 31 sq km, whereas the increase in Mumbai Suburban district was 16 sq km, Vasudevan said.

The mangrove cover in Maharashtra had remained constant at 186 sq km between 2005 and 2013, but increased to 222 sq km in 2013, said the senior forest officer.

Maharashtra is the only state in the country with a dedicated Mangrove Cell, which came into existence in 2012, and it is also the only state to have constituted all mangroves on government land as reserved forests under section 4 of the Indian Forest Act, 1927, officials said.

Commenting on increased awareness and protection of the mangrove cover, Vasudevan said, "Maharashtra has also created a Mangrove Foundation. The increase in mangrove cover is attributed to stricter enforcement of law, increased awareness among the public about the importance of mangroves and the wider knowledge about the legal protection available to mangroves.
First Published on Feb 12, 2018 10:46 pm
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