Known as the ‘green lung of Kochi’, the Mangalavanam bird sanctuary is located in the centre of Kochi. 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.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is between mid-January and early March.
BEST TIME TO VISIT KOCHI
The average minimum and maximum temperature of Kochi is as given below. The best time to visit Kochi is also specified.