Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and Godavari estuary

Country/territory: India

IBA criteria met: A1, A4iii (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria, please click here

Area: 23,570 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
IBA conservation status
Year of assessment (most recent) Threat (pressure) Condition (state) Action (response)
2003 high not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring, please click here

Site description (baseline)
Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is located 20 km south of the port city Kakinada, on the Kakinada-Yanam state highway, nestling on the deltaic branches of Gouthami and Godavari rivers at Kakinada Bay. It has extensive marshes and mangroves. During monsoon, the mudflats get submerged under 5 m of water. These large mudflats, which are subjected to cyclic influx and efflux of tidal water, play a vital role in attracting a large number of waders to this region. About 50% of the area is the backwaters which include a sand bar of about 20 km, running north-south (Rao et al. 1996). Two rivers, namely the Coringa and Gaderu, and their deltaic branches intersect the entire region, along with other water channels draining into them or directly into the sea. This forms about 33,570 ha of marsh vegetation. The Sanctuary is part of the estuary of River Godavari, and supports a rich growth of mangrove vegetation with halophytes such as Excoecaria agallocha, Rhizophora mucronata, Avicennia officinalis, Lumnitzeria racemosa, Ceriops decandra, Sonneratia apetala and Aegiceras corniculatus. According to Raja Sekhar et al. (2002), 24 species are representative of the vegetation structure of Godavari Estuary.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Rao et al. (1996) have identified 236 species of birds from this Sanctuary. However, they have reported species that are not likely to be present, such as Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus, Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola and Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius. Nevertheless, Coringa is an extremely interesting area for waders and mangrove birds, and should be designated as an IBA (Aasheesh Pittie pers. comm. 2001). More than 20,000 waders use this area in a year. The area needs detailed investigation on its bird life. Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Long-billed Vulture G. indicus (both considered Critical due to the sharp decline in their population: BirdLife International 2001) are found here. Among the near threatened species, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Oriental White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephala, and Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca are found in Coringa. Rao et al. (1996) have reported 17 species of ducks, and 37 species of waders of Family Charadridae. Even though some species need to be confirmed, the site still holds a very high diversity of waterbirds.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: A fair population of Fishing Cat Felis viverrina, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, sea turtles and Salt water Crocodile Crocodylus porosus are present in Coringa. This IBA has a large breeding population of otters. In fact, the entire estuarine mangrove forest of Godavari river is a stronghold of otters, mainly Smooth Indian Otter Lutra perspicillata (Nagulu et al. 1991, 1999). The sighting of otters in this IBA is very common, and the group size ranges from 2 to 12, indicating healthy breeding populations (S. A. Hussain in litt. 2003).

Key contributors: S. A. Hussain and Aasheesh Pittie.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Area factsheet: Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and Godavari estuary. Downloaded from on 31/05/2023.