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Location India, Andhra Pradesh
Central coordinates 82o 20.20' East  16o 49.88' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 23,570 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is located 20 km south of the port city Kakinada, on the Kakinada-Yanam state highway, nestling on the deltaic branches of Gouthami and Godavari rivers at Kakinada Bay. It has extensive marshes and mangroves. During monsoon, the mudflats get submerged under 5 m of water. These large mudflats, which are subjected to cyclic influx and efflux of tidal water, play a vital role in attracting a large number of waders to this region. About 50% of the area is the backwaters which include a sand bar of about 20 km, running north-south (Rao et al. 1996). Two rivers, namely the Coringa and Gaderu, and their deltaic branches intersect the entire region, along with other water channels draining into them or directly into the sea. This forms about 33,570 ha of marsh vegetation. The Sanctuary is part of the estuary of River Godavari, and supports a rich growth of mangrove vegetation with halophytes such as Excoecaria agallocha, Rhizophora mucronata, Avicennia officinalis, Lumnitzeria racemosa, Ceriops decandra, Sonneratia apetala and Aegiceras corniculatus. According to Raja Sekhar et al. (2002), 24 species are representative of the vegetation structure of Godavari Estuary.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: Rao et al. (1996) have identified 236 species of birds from this Sanctuary. However, they have reported species that are not likely to be present, such as Yellow-throated Bulbul Pycnonotus xantholaemus, Wood Snipe Gallinago nemoricola and Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius. Nevertheless, Coringa is an extremely interesting area for waders and mangrove birds, and should be designated as an IBA (Aasheesh Pittie pers. comm. 2001). More than 20,000 waders use this area in a year. The area needs detailed investigation on its bird life. Oriental White-backed Vulture Gyps bengalensis and Long-billed Vulture G. indicus (both considered Critical due to the sharp decline in their population: BirdLife International 2001) are found here. Among the near threatened species, Painted Stork Mycteria leucocephala, Oriental White Ibis Threskiornis melanocephala, and Ferruginous Pochard Aythya nyroca are found in Coringa. Rao et al. (1996) have reported 17 species of ducks, and 37 species of waders of Family Charadridae. Even though some species need to be confirmed, the site still holds a very high diversity of waterbirds.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: A fair population of Fishing Cat Felis viverrina, Golden Jackal Canis aureus, sea turtles and Salt water Crocodile Crocodylus porosus are present in Coringa. This IBA has a large breeding population of otters. In fact, the entire estuarine mangrove forest of Godavari river is a stronghold of otters, mainly Smooth Indian Otter Lutra perspicillata (Nagulu et al. 1991, 1999). The sighting of otters in this IBA is very common, and the group size ranges from 2 to 12, indicating healthy breeding populations (S. A. Hussain in litt. 2003).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Coringa Sanctuary 23,570 is identical to site 23,570  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Mangrove forest (tropical)  -
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Shallow marine waters, coral reefs & keys  -
Marine Coastal/Supratidal   major
Wetlands (inland) Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats; Rivers and streams  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: S. A. Hussain and Aasheesh Pittie.


Birdlife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, UK.

Collin, S., Plaza, C., Depommier, D., Dahdouh-Guebas, F., Prosperi, J. and Koedam, N. (2002) Multiple uses, wood supplying and fishery-related importance of the Coringa mangrove, East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh. National Seminar on Conservation of Eastern Ghats, March 24-26, 2002, Tirupathi, Andhra Pradesh. Pp xviii + 614.

Hussain, S. A. (1999) Status of otter conservation in India. In Envis Bulletin: Wildlife and Protected Areas. Mustelids, Viverrids and Herpestids of India. Wildlife Institute of India. Vol. 2 (2): 92-97.

Nagulu, V., C. Rao and V. V. Rao (1999) Status of otters in Southern Indian States: An updated report – 1999. In Envis Bulletin: Wildlife and Protected Areas. Mustelids, Viverrids and Herpestids of India. Wildlife Institute of India. 2 (2): 71-73.

Nagulu, V., M. T. Rao and J. V. R. Ramana (1991) Preliminary ecological studies on the Indian Smooth Otter (Lutra perspicillata) at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh, India. In C. Reuther and R. Rochert (eds), Proc. V. International Otter Cooloq., Hankensbuttel 1989. Habitat 6: 153-155.

Raja Sekhar, P. S., Brahmaji Rao, P. and Subba Rao, M. V. (2002) Biodiversity values and traditional utilization patterns of Godavari Mangroves, Andhra Pradesh. Pp 232-238. Proc. of National Seminar on Conservation of Eastern Ghats, March 24-26, 2002, Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh. Pp xviii + 614.

Rao, V. V., Anjaneyulu, M., Nagulu, V., Srinivasulu, C. and Satyanarayana, D. (1996) Waterfowl status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh. Pavo 34 (1 & 2): 71-86.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2015) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary and Godavari estuary. Downloaded from on 04/05/2015

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