|Most recent IBA monitoring assessment|
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The open mudflats of Trombay and Sewri are located along the Arabian Sea. An area c. 10 km long and 3 km wide, is dominated by mangroves all along the coast. The area is prohibited for the general public. The jetty of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), and Tata Electrical are located along the area. There are refineries of Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL). Despite the high degree of pollution, the area is a winter refuge for thousands of migratory birds from as far as the Arctic circle. They include sandpipers, plovers, gulls and terns. The area also supports a large congregation of flamingos, which are local migrants probably from Gujarat. Raptors also use the area as a stopover and a few of them winter here, such as the Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus and the Greater Spotted Eagle Aquila clanga. The area is dominated by mangrove vegetation and supports a diverse flora. Fifty-three species of vascular plants have been recorded. Of these 10 species are mangroves and 13 are mangroveassociated species. Avicennia marina is a dominant plant species in the area, while Rhizophora mucronata and Excoecaria agallocha also occur.
AVIFAUNA: Till now about 150 bird species have been identified from this IBA. Along the mudflats in Sewri, 1,500-2,000 Greater Flamingos Phoenicopterus ruber, 15,000 Lesser Flamingos P. minor, and 7,000 Lesser Sand Plovers Charadrius mongolus have been sighted in January 2003. Globally threatened species such as the Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer, Greater Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca and Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis are seen here. Other bird species include the Little Green Heron Butorides striatus, Western Reef Heron Egretta gularis, Black-headed or White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephalus, Common Redshank Tringa totanus, Marsh Sandpiper T. stagnatilis, Common Greenshank T. nebularia, Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea, Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus, Whiskered Tern Chlidonias hybridus, Gull-billed Tern Gelochelidon nilotica, Caspian Tern Sterna caspia, Little Tern S. albifrons and Eurasian Marsh Harrier. Extremely large numbers of stints (Calidris spp.), sometimes in flocks of 8 to 10 thousand are seen, even to the end of May. It should be noted that many of these numbers are much above the 1% threshold of biogeographic population determined by Wetlands International (2002). This site easily fulfils A4i (=1% of biogeographic population) and A4iii (=20,000 waterbirds) criteria.
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The only large mammal species recorded in this marshland was a Golden Jackal Canis aureus (Verma et al. 2002). Other fauna includes eight reptiles, 28 species of butterflies, eight species of gastropods, five species of bivalves, two species of pulmonates and nine species of crustaceans.
Key contributors: T. V. Sowrirajan, S. Balachandran, Ashok Verma, I. Kehimkar and Vivek Kulkarni.
BirdLife International (2022) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Mahul - Sewree Creek. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 07/08/2022.