Mangalavanam is an ecologically sensitive area situated at the centre of the Indian city of Kochi. It is situated behind the Kerala High Court building. It is a nesting ground for a large variety of migratory birds and supports many types of mangroves. The Managalavanam is often regarded as the "green lung of Kochi", considering its role in keeping the city's air pollution under check. The area is a roosting place for many kinds of resident and migratory birds.

Recently the high-rise buildings in the nearby area are curtailing the movement of birds in the sanctuary. The buildings close to the sanctuary interrupt proper orientation, take-off and landings of the birds. They also cause hurdles in the regular movements of the nesting birds in transporting nesting materials. It is also likely to hinder the movement of birds while bringing food materials to the chicks and fledglings.[1] The administrative control of the sanctuary is with the Assistant Conservator of Forest and Wildlife Warden Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary of Nature Study Centre Kalady and then to the Range Officer Research Range Kodanad.

The ecologically sensitive area is home to several species of resident and migratory birds and also supports different types of mangroves.

Spread over about 2.74 hectares, the sanctuary also houses a shallow tidal lake surrounded by thick mangrove vegetation. The lake is connected with Kochi backwaters by a canal and is home to seven species of fishes.

Mangalavanam is primarily a bird sanctuary. According to a survey conducted in 2006, 194 birds belonging to 32 species were recorded in the sanctuary.

Some of the birds seen in the sanctuary are common redshank, common greenshank, brahminy kite, white breasted waterhen and marsh sandpiper.

One can see variety of mangroves in the sanctuary. Among them acanthus ilicifolius is considered to be endangered and rhizophora mucranata as a vulnerable species, as per International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Other type of mangroves that can be seen are avicennia officinalis, acrostichum aureum.

Visitors also get to see 17 species of butterfly and six species of mammals in the sanctuary. Mammals such as flying-fox, painted bat, Eurasian otter, house rat and three-striped palm squirrel can be seen.

The watch tower in the sanctuary gives majestic views of the sanctuary. To attract more visitors to the sanctuary and to spread awareness, Kerala Forest and Wildlife department conducts free nature camp for nature lovers.

Address: Mathai Manjooran Rd, Ayyappankavu, Ernakulam, Kerala 682018, India

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