Wetlands of Porbandar

A number of wetlands, both perennial and seasonal, are present in the Porbandar region. It has been observed that whenever there is a drought in this region, all the native as well as migratory birds get distributed in these satellite wetlands. With the frequency of drought years increasing it has become all the more important to increase the level of protection to the satellite wetlands. Satellite wetlands of high significance value to both migratory and resident water birds owing to its fully protected area status serves as a large staging, moulting and roosting grounds besides being foraging sites for many of water bird species. However, since Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is only ca 9.33ha in area, waterfowls have to largely meet their food requirements from aquatic habitats scattered around it. Many of these wetlands hold high conservation value for several water bird species, both migratory and resident by providing them wintering, staging and roosting grounds. The entire landscape with scattered wetland islands which are connected through flyways can be looked at from the point of ‘Theory of Island Bio-geography’. The basic premise of this theory is that the number of species occurring on an island represents a dynamic balance between recurrent immigration and recurrent extinction of resident species. Porbandar is an administrative district of Gujarat located in the western part of the state with its head quarters located at Porbandar town. Porbandar was carved out of Junagadh district. There are some worth visiting wetland sites in and around Porbandar. Total 226 wetlands are mapped including 95 small wetlands (<2.25 ha) with 22199 ha area. Inland wetlands contribute 27.3% of the total wetland area and coastal wetlands contribute 72.7% of the total wetland area. Major wetland categories of the district are Lagoons, Rivers/streams, Reservoirs and Sand/beach. Area under aquatic vegetation in post-monsoon is about 5451 ha. Open water spread of the wetlands is significantly higher in post monsoon (13390 ha) than during pre monsoon (7376 ha). Major portion of the open water area is under low turbidity during both seasons.

Mokarsagar Wetland Complex

    Mokarsagar - The Eden garden of more than one hundred species of waterbirds, the ideal candidate to be the Ramsar site, the birding destination - easily approachable from National highway as well as coastal highway stands out of other wetlands of Porbandar. Mokarsagar is a name given to group of several wetlands situated in around villages like Kuchhadi, Zavar, Chhaya, Odedar, Ratanpar, Vanana, Ranghavav, Bhorasa, Dharampur, Gosa, Narvai, Bhad, Lushala, Navagam, Tukda, Mokar, Pipliya. The Mokarsagar wetland complex is a group of wetlands incl. Kuchhadi, Subhashnagar, Zavar, Kurly I, Karly II, Vanana, Dharampur, Gosabara, Mokarsagar and Amipur. The huge area of more than 200 sq. Km., the source of fresh water for many farmers and villagers is really a lifeline for people and wetland dependent biodiversity including birds, reptiles, insects and mammals.

Porbandar Bird Sanctuary

    Porbandar Bird Sanctuary is located amid the city of Porbandar flaunting the co-existence of man and nature. Spread over an area of 9 ha., this unique water dwelling, surrounded by trees was affirmed as a sanctuary in the year 1988. The splendorous beauty of the place though not reflecting any emergent vegetation is enriched by the migratory birds visiting this area every year. The feathered creatures with their harmonious twitters and chirrups identify this area as a popular destination for birders. Water birds are often seen splashing in the freshwater lake while the sky touching flights of certain birds likes gulls. It is easy to catch a close glimpse of the birds residing and nesting in this area.

Kuchhadi

    The Kuchhadi wetland is located 13 km far from Porbandar city towards Dwarka Highway. Kucchadi and Javar are two different villages but share same rain dependent water filled wetland. Kuchhadi is the best place to watch fishing Pelicans like Mokarsagar. Rocky plains and scrubs of the kuchhadi are favourite nesting grounds for larks, lapwings, coursers, stone plover and stone curlew.

Javar

    The private salt-pans of Javar are very important for Greater Flamingos and Gulls. Aggregations of egrets, herons, gulls and terns can be seen at pumping stations of salt pans. One watch tower has been constructed in 2006. Expansion of wind mill industry straight to the heart of Kuchhadi could be the dead end of wetland though measures are being taken.

Subhashnagar

    The Subhashnagar is located within Porbandar city itself. The Subhashnagar contains tidal water and waste discharge of fishing industries. Almost all the species of Gulls and Terns can be sighted here in different plumages. This is the only site in the Porbandar with four to five km long Mangrove stretch which is ideal to enjoy murmuration of Rosy starlings in the evening. Mangroves are also equally important for colonial birds like cormorants, egrets, herons and storks. This is the third mouth where Mokarsagar meets the Arabian Ocean via Karly I and Karly II. Many times very dark Western reef heron is sighted which could be due to industrial waste. Feral dogs are alarming threat to the birds. Community conserved wetlands with corporate social responsibility should be implemented here.

Bardasagar

    The Bardasagar is located in the Porbandar district. The Bardasagar dam is created to store rain water for agricultural purpose. The Bardasagar dam and farms on its periphery are the ideal winter escape for thousands of cranes i.e. Common crane and Demoiselle crane. More than 15000 Demoiselle cranes were recorded during AWC Porbandar 2015. Last year, 5-6 Sarus cranes were also seen by an amateur birder. Sarus crane also nested here in 1998. Bardasagar is regular nesting ground for elegant Great crested Grebe like Mokarsagar. The “weed ceremony” and dancing ritual of Great crested Grebe can be seen here too. Change in the cropping pattern and excessive use of pesticides can be lethal to cranes.

Chhaya Rann

    The Chhaya rann is located within Porbandar city itself. The Chhaya rann contains rain water, sewage water and waste discharge of Birla factory. Since 1960s, flamingos are being sighted here. This is the only site where flamingos have play-nested in past. More than 180 mud nests were created in 48 hours, all nest washed due to heavy rain on the same day and nesting failed in Chhaya rann. On 29th July-2014, Lesser flamingos attempted mating. This spectacular event was photographed by Mr. Dhaval Vargiya. It is the only digital record of mating of flamingos from Porbandar region. No threats to birds from humans except feral dogs who regularly feed on injured flamingos.

Mendha Creek

    The Mendha creek is located in a Porbandar and Devbhumi Dwarka districts of the Gujarat state of India. The Mendha creek can be reached from Porbandar- Dwarka Highway and it is 40 km. far from Porbandar city. Brackish water of Mendha creek irrigation project and Arabian ocean invites many birds. Thousands of flamingos can be sighted here. Many times juvenile flamingos are spotted in around Porbandar so Mendha creek is believed to be another nesting site for flamingos but, yet it is not scientifically proved. More than 21000 common coots were observed during AWC 2015 which is the largest congregation of common coots in Porbandar region.