Andhra Pradesh Coastal and Marine ecosystems comprising of mudflats, sandy beaches, estuaries, creeks, mangroves, marshes, lagoon, sea grass beds, and sandy & rocky beaches extend to 974 km (605mi) which is the second largest coastline among the states of India. The coastal stretch extends from Ichchapuram of Srikakulam district to Tada of Nellore district, which geographically lies in between the coasts of Orissa and Tamil Nadu. Coastal wetlands are spread over an area of 1,138.7 km2 (439.7 sq mi). The coastal corridor consists of several ports (1 major and 14 non-major), harbours, vast stretches of sandy beaches, wildlife and bird sanctuaries, fresh water lakes, estuaries etc.
There are three Coastal and Marine Protected areas (CMPAs) in A.P. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary (23,570 ha) and Krishna Wildlife Sanctuary (19,481 ha) have mangroves, estuaries and back water whereas Pulicat lake Bird Sanctuary (55,300 ha) is a lagoon of brackish water and known for water birds and fishes.
Dynamic mangroves ecosystem (235.70 km2) of coastal A.P. supports rich biodiversity such as Fishing Cat, Otter, Jackal, Estuarine Crocodile (locally extinct), Sea Turtle, Sea Gull, Pelican, Open-billed Stork, Grey Heron, Snipes, Flamingos on transit, to name only a few. Over 269 species of birds are found within coastal, marine & estuarine habitats of A.P. besides 137 species of Phytoplanktons, 73 species of Fungi, 9 Microorganisms, 81 species of Zooplankton, 126 species of Micro benthos, 28 groups of meio-benthos, 114 species of macro-benthos, 52 species of Foraminiferids, 14 species of Amphibians, 109 species of insects, 430 species of Fin-fish, 27 species of Reptiles, and 18 species of Mammals were recorded.
Rare, Endangered and Threatened Species have been reported from coastal, marine & estuarine areas of A.P. Of the 440 threatened species recorded in India, 90 species have been recorded in this region which inclusive of 08 critically endangered species (fishes-4, birds-3 & turtle-1), 10 endangered species (fishes-4, birds-4, mammal-1 & turtle-1), 35 vulnerable species (fishes-28, birds-5, mammal-1, turtle-1 & sea grass-1) and 35 near threatened species (fishes-24, birds-10, mammal-1 & mangrove-1). These records highlight the national and global importance of this region. The sea coast of A.P. is the home of sea turtles which visit the Hope Island and Sacremento Island at Kakinada, Baruva, Kalingapatnam, Machilipatnam, Hamsaladeevi and Nagayalanka beaches for breeding every year.
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