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Location India, Maharashtra
Central coordinates 73o 30.33' East  15o 55.15' North
IBA criteria A4iii
Area 6 ha
Altitude 25 - 45m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Burnt Island, among the Vengurla Rocks in the Arabian Sea, in Sindhudurg district, is an archipelago c. 14 km west to northwest of Vengurla Port. The archipelago comprises about 20 islets in an area about 5 km from north to south and 1.6 km from east to west. Detailed study on the flora and fauna has not been done. The rocks at Vengurla are quite bare, but the crevices are covered with grasses and shrubs. The main grass is Cymbopogon, with scattered Celosia argentea and Mollugo sperbula. They provide shelter for chicks and fledglings of terns and other species.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: A. O. Hume visited this island to collect some information on the fauna (Hume 1876). He mentioned about the sea birds and swiftlets. In 1938, Abdulali (1940) visited this area and recorded that the Vengurla Rocks Archipelago is a nesting site for marine birds, terns, pigeons and swiftlets. Pande (2002a) observed over 18,000 Indian Edible-nest Swiftlets or Indian Swiftlet Collocalia unicolor at Burnt Island during his survey. The site therefore qualifies as an IBA in the congregation criteria A4iii. Pande (2002b) recorded 8 species of terns namely, Common Tern Sterna hirundo, Roseate Tern S. dougallii, White-cheeked Tern S. repressa, Bridled Tern S. anaethetus, Sooty Tern S. fuscata, Large Crested Tern S. bergii, Lesser crested Tern S. bengalensis and Indian River Tern S. aurantia. In addition, Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres, Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos, Indian Reef Heron Egretta gularis, and White-bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster were also recorded. Pande (2002b) saw a flock of 22 Pomarine Jaegar Stercorarius pomarinus flying southward. In the Indian seas, this is a rare visitor (Grimmett et al. 1999) in India.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The carapace of Olive Ridley Turtle Lepidochelys olivacea was collected from here, suggesting occurrence of this species in the proximity of the island. Dolphins were also seen in nearby waters.

A small unidentified bat species was also observed in the cave where the swiftlets were found (Pande 2002b).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  2003  15,000-20,000 individuals  medium  A4iii   

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Rocky areas   -
Shrubland   -
Coastline   -

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Satish Pande and Vishwas Katdare.

References 

Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the Birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Abdulali, H., (1940) Swifts and Terns at Vengurla Rocks. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 41: 661-665.

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1999) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm (Publishers) Ltd., London, U.K.

Hume, A. O. (1876) Laccadives and the West Coast. Stray Feathers 4 (4,5,6): 413-483.

Pande, S, A. (2002a) Conservation of Habitat and Documentation of the nesting status of Indian Edible- nest Swiftlets and Marine Terns of the Vengurla Rocks. Bombay Natural History Society.

Pande, S. A. (2002b) A Rocky Adventure at Vengurla Islands. Hornbill April-June, Pp. 22-24.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Burnt Island (Bandra) Vengurla Rocks. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 24/11/2014

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