Austin Strait

Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A2 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 3,100 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 low not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here

Site description
Austin Strait is located to the north of Mayabundar, up to Mohanpur. It has extensive creeks, fringed with dense, luxuriant growth of mangroves. The site extends along the Strait, dividing North Andaman from Middle Andaman. The habitat is fairly undisturbed (Gandhi 2000), and is important for its rich mangrove stands, which support a variety of typical mangrove fauna (Andrews and Sankaran 2002). Proximity to the equator and the sea ensures a hot, humid, and uniform climate. The islands receive rainfall from both the southwest and northeast monsoon. Maximum precipitation is between May and December, the driest period being between January and April (Sankaran 1995). The IBA is basically a mangrove area, dominated by Rhizophora apiculata, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, B. parviflora, Rhizophora mucronata and R. conjugata. Some of the mangrove species grow into tree form.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: Of the 12 Restricted Range bird species identified by BirdLife International from the Endemic Bird Area of Andaman Islands (Stattersfield et al. 1998), nine species are found in this IBA. Most of them are quite common in suitable habitats. Only the Andaman Crake Rallina canningi is listed in the Threatened category, under Data Deficient, while the rest come under the Near Threatened category (BirdLife International 2001). Andaman Teal Anas gibberifrons albogularis has also been reported from this area. This is not listed as Threatened at the global level (BirdLife International 2001) but the subspecies is highly endangered and has shown a marked decline during the last 100 years, with a recently estimated population of 500 to 600 individuals only (Vijayan and Sankaran 2000).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The habitat is relatively undisturbed and supports a variety of typical mangrove fauna such as the Saltwater Crocodile Crocodylus porosus and the typical snakes, crabs, prawns, and fishes of this area. No inventory of the flora and fauna of this IBA has been attempted till now.

Key contributors: Tara Gandhi and Ravi Sankaran.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2023) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Austin Strait. Downloaded from on 04/02/2023.