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Mangalavanam


Known for its small bird sanctuary, Mangalavanam mangroves is situated in the Ernakulam District of Kerala State. Bharath Petroleum Company borders the northern and eastern portion of the area, South by Emakulam Railway goods station, West by Salim Ali Road 16 and Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. This small mangrove area comprising of a shallow tidal lake in the centre with its edges covered with thick mangrove vegetation, the lake here is connected with backwaters by a canal. Mangalavanam gained importance because of the mangrove vegetation and also due to the congregation of communally breeding birds.

Apart from these, it is considered a 'green lung' of Ernakularn City, which is polluted by many industries and motor vehicles. A timber yard was located in the area in the yester years, exporting timber to various countries. At present, no such activity is being carried out. The guesthouse was renovated in the year 1986 and regular staff was appointed to protect the birds. Exotic species like Eucalyptus and teak was planted in the area in previous years. Forty-one species of birds were recorded in Mangalavanam mangroves representing 25 families. The most common bird species found at Mangalavanarn were Little Cormorant and Black-crowned Night Heron. Highest species richness of birds was found in the months of May and July. House Crow is however the villain here, the main predator of the eggs and nestlings of other bird species.

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