The Maharashtra state forest department has decided to declare Thane creek as a Flamingo sanctuary, to protect the flamingos and several other birds that are threatened by pollution and habitat destruction in the north-eastern Mumbai area. The notification is expected soon. Mumbai based NGO Vanashakti had approached the state forest department seeking its intervention to protect the birds and mudflats along the Thane creek. Kavita Mallya, project officer with Vanashakti said that the number of birds arriving has reduced drastically in the recent past. Encroachments, commercial aquaculture, large scale mangrove destruction and illegal dumping in the creek threaten the birds’ habitat.
Mumbai recently lost prime flamingo wetland habitat in Uran. Vanashakti feels that Thane Creek should be notified as protected area before it gets reclaimed for development.