What is Coastal Regulation Zone?

What is Coastal Regulation Zone?

  • The coastal land up to 500m from the High Tide Line (HTL) and a stage of 100m along banks of creeks, estuaries, backwater and rivers subject to tidal fluctuations, is called the Coastal Regulation Zone.
    • Note: High Tide Line (HTL) is the line on land up to which the highest tide reaches during spring tide and Low Tide Line (LTL) is line on land up to which the lowest tide reaches during spring tide.
  • Several kinds of restrictions apply on the Coastal Regulation zone, depending on criteria such as population, ecological sensitivity, distance from shore, and whether the area had been designated as a natural park or wildlife zone.


Coastal Regulation Zone Rules

  • CRZ Rules govern human and industrial activity close to the coastline, in order to protect the fragile ecosystems near the sea.
  • The rules restrict certain kinds of activities within a certain distance from the coastline like :
    • large constructions
    • setting up of new industries
    • storage or disposal of hazardous material
    • mining, or reclamation and bunding
  • The Rules, mandated under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, were first framed in 1991.


What is the need to regulate Coastal Regulation Zone?

  • Areas immediately next to the sea are extremely delicate and many marine and aquatic life forms are present in this zone. Also, the species present are threatened by climate change, which need to be protected against unregulated development.


Evolution of Coastal Regulation Zone Rules

  • CRZ Rules 2011:The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) notified CRZ Rules in 2011, under the Environment Protection Act of 1986, to regulate the activities in coastal areas.
  • Nayak Committee: Later, in 2014, the Environment Ministry set up a six-member Shailesh Nayak committee to give suggestions for a new set of CRZ Rules.
  • CRZ Rules 2018: Based on the inputs from the Nayak Committee and other inputs, the Environment Ministry issued fresh CRZ Rules in December 2018, which removed certain restrictions on building, streamlined the clearance process, and aimed to encourage tourism in coastal areas.



Coastal Regulation Zone  Rules 2011

  • Category I (Coastal Regulation Zone -I):
    • Ecologically sensitive and important areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty or historic importance or genetic diversity, areas which could sink as an effect of rising sea-levels and the area between the HTL and Low Tide Line (LTL).
    • No new construction is permitted in CRZ-I


  • Category II (Coastal Regulation Zone -II):
    • Already ‘developed’ areas on or very close to the shoreline i.e. areas that have buildings and roads right on the beaches.
    • Buildings are permitted only on the landward side of the existing road according to the Coastal Zone Management Plan (CZMP) of the state/union territory.


  • Category III (Coastal Regulation Zone -III):
    • Seaside areas that do not fall into CRZ I or II categories, including rural areas.
    • It is categorised as a ‘No Development Zone’, with a few exceptions and with the prior approval of the MoEF.
    • The specifications for number of floors and height of the buildings in this zone are specified.


  • Category IV (Coastal Regulation Zone -IV):
    • Coastline of the Indian islands that do not fall into CRZ I or II or III categories.
    • All the regulations of CRZ I, II and III apply along with an additional condition of not disturbing the coral formations.


Coastal Regulation Zone Rules, 2018

  • CRZ-I areas:
    • The rules allows for construction of roads and roads on stilts, “by way of reclamation in CRZ-1 areas”, only in exceptional cases for “defence, strategic purposes and public utilities,” to be recommended by the CZMA and approved by the Ministry.


  • CRZ-II areas:
    • The new rules de-freezes the floor space index (FSI) or floor area ratio for CRZ-II areas proposes and permit FSI for construction projects.


  • CRZ-III areas:
    • Land that is relatively undisturbed such as in rural areas, and do not fall in areas considered close to shoreline within existing municipal limits have been divided into two categories:
      • CRZ-III A (rural areas with a population density of 2,161 people per square kilometre or more) Such areas shall have a “No Development Zone” (NDZ) of 50m from the HTL.
      • CRZ-III B (rural areas with a population density lesser than 2,161 people per square kilometre). Such areas shall continue to have an NDZ of 200m from the HTL.
    • The new rules reduces the CRZ limits on land along “tidal influenced water bodies” from 100 metres to 50 metres or the width of the creek, whichever is less.
    • The 2018 notification merely uses the hazard line as a tool for disaster management i.e. one can build in these areas after preparing an environment assessment report stating that certain precautions have been considered
    • Only those projects located in CRZ-I (environmentally most critical) and CRZ-IV (water and seabed areas) shall require MoEF clearance. All other projects shall be considered by Coastal Zone Management Authorities (CZMAs) in the states and union territories.
Section : Environment & Ecology

About Butterfy migration

About Butterfy migration

  • Usually butterfly migration starts during October-November with the onset of the northeast monsoon, from the plains to the ghats, and during April-May, just before the advent of the southwest monsoon, from the ghats to the plains.
  • Migration takes place across the plains of southern India to the southern part of the Sahyadri (also known as the Western Ghats) between mid-October and early December every year.
  • Migrant butterflies initially remain in reproductive diapause for a few weeks after reaching the Sahyadri.
  • They then breed in these mountains, and their progeny migrates to the eastern plains between April and July the following year.
  • Thus, butterflies leave the southern Sahyadri just before the onset of the south-western monsoon, and return soon after the monsoon rains subside, escaping the nearly incessant rains and mist that cover the southern part of Sahyadri from June to September.
  • The butterflies breed during the south-western monsoon on the eastern plains, in the rainshadow area, and their progeny then migrate back to the Sahyadri between October and early December.




Way ahead

  • Butterfly migration is one of the least studied natural phenomenon in the country.What is needed is a careful documentation of migration over a prolonged period from a given area.
  • For this, a wide network and coordination among butterfly watchers from different localities are needed


Section : Environment & Ecology

About the crop Chickpea

About the crop Chickpea

  • The chickpea (Cicerarietinum) is a legume that belongs to the family Fabaceae.
  • Chickpea is the world’s second most important pulse legume, with particular importance in the semi-arid tropics of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
  • Contents
    • Chickpeas are rich in proteins, and are grown in many parts of the world for human consumption.
    • It is also high in dietary fiber, folate, and dietary mineral content.
    • They are rich in essential amino acids like aromatic amino acids, tryptophan, lysine, and isoleucine.
    • When cooked, chickpeas are 60% water, 9% protein, 3% fat, and 27% carbohydrates.
  • Climatic requirements
    • Chickpeas crop grows well in good moisture conditions with a temperature between 24°C and 30°C.
    • Chickpeas are grown on moderately heavy soils, black cotton soils, and loamy sandy soils.
  • Chickpea in India
    • It is generally known as “Chana”/ “Gram” or “Bengal Gram” in India.
    • India is the largest producer of chickpea with about 63% of the total area under chickpea production lying in India.
    • As it is a protein-rich supplement to cereal-based diets, hence it is crucial for the food security in India.
    • It is Rabi a crop, generally sown in September-October and harvested in January-February in India.
Section : Environment & Ecology

About Sarus Crane

About Sarus Crane

  • It is world’s tallest flying omnivorous bird, which is over 5 feet on average.
  • It is State bird of Uttar Pradesh.
  • Sarus Crane is non-migratory crane found in parts of the Indian Subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Australia.
  • It is India’s only resident breeding crane.
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) status: Vulnerable
  • Habitat:
    • Natural wetlands with low water depth, marshy and fallow areas and agricultural fields.
    • The agricultural fields and wetlands of eastern Uttar Pradesh are home to largest number of Sarus Crane in India.
    • It is mainly found on the lowlands along the Gangetic plains of Uttar Pradesh and in larger wetlands of Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal and Assam.
  • The bird is a social creature, found mostly in pairs or small groups of three or four. They are known to mate for life with a single partner.
  • They play a vital role in ecological balance by controlling the population of harmful insects and have significant cultural importance.


Conservation Issues:

  • Habitat loss and degradation due to draining the wetland and conversion of land for agriculture.
  • Electrocution (death or serious injury caused by electric shock) due to power transmission lines in agricultural areas
  • Poisoning due to ingestion of pesticides from agricultural fields.
  • Hunting of adults
  • Collection of eggs and chicks for trade, food, medicinal purposes and to help limit damage to crops and to help limit damage to crops.
  • Change in the cropping pattern from paddy to sugarcane.


News Summary:

  • Owing to the successful conservation efforts, the population of Sarus Crane has constantly been increasing in Uttar Pradesh from 2013 onwards.
  • One of the important conservation effort to conserve the population of Sarus Crane is the Sarus Crane Conservation Project, running across 10 districts of eastern UP since 2013.


About Sarus Crane Conservation Project

  • The Project has been running across 10 districts of Purvanchal by Wildlife Trust of India in collaboration with Tata Trusts and the U.P. Forest Department.
  • It sought to involve local communities (called Sarus Mitra or Friends of the Sarus), in monitoring and protecting Sarus Crane and the wetlands that sustain it.
  • It also assists the U.P. state in developing projects to enhance Sarus crane conservation initiatives.



Climate Vulnerability Index

Climate Vulnerability Index

  • The Climate Vulnerability Index will be developed on the basis of a study being carried out assessing the climate risks faced across all states.
  • The DST will also develop a Climate Portal that presents district-wise data relating to climate vulnerability.
  • Vulnerability would be a measure of the inherent risks a district faces, primarily by virtue of its geography and socio-economic situation.
  • The districts will be assigned a value between 0 to 1, 1 indicating the highest level of vulnerability.
  • Parameters: The index will be developed based on 8 key parameters
    • Percentage of area under forests
    • Yield variability of food grain
    • Population density
    • Female literacy rate
    • Infant mortality rate
    • Percentage of population below poverty line
    • Average man-days under MGNREGA
    • Area under slope greater than 30%.


Need for the vulnerability index

  • Climate variability in temperature and rainfall affect biophysical and socio-economic environment.
  • Climate variability exposes environment to the following adverse effects:
    • Land degradation
    • Deforestation
    • Proliferation of invasive species
    • Loss of biodiversity
    • Landslides
    • Invasion of commercial crops
    • Low productive agriculture
    • Changed livelihood patterns
    • Marginalization and consequent Migration



  • In the backdrop of COP-24 at Katowice Poland, India had had done a study to assess climate vulnerability of 12 Himalayan States.
  • The Himalayan states include Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, hill districts of West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.


Importance of the study

  • Himalayan ecosystem is vital to the ecological security of the India due to following:
    • Plays a crucial role in providing forest cover
    • Feeds perennial rivers that are the source of drinking water, irrigation, and hydropower
    • Biodiversity conservation
    • Rich base for high-value agriculture
    • Sustainable tourism


Section : Environment & Ecology

About Asiatic Lions

About Asiatic Lions

  • Asiatic Lions are critically endangered species, listed in the Schedule 1 of Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, Appendix I of CITES and endangered on IUCN Red List.
  • Asiatic lions were once distributed in dry deciduous forests and scrublands from West Bengal in east to Rewa, MP in the west.
  • Currently, the last surviving population of the Asiatic lions is confined to Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, which is the only habitat of the Asiatic lion.
  • According to 2015 census, there are currently 523 Asiatic lion in India compared to about 50 in 1980s.


Need for the conservation project

  • In the recent years, there is a rise in number of deaths of Asian Lions due to various unnatural causes.
  • According to estimates, the numbers of deaths of Asiatic Lions are 104 and 80 in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
  • The main reason for death of Asiatic lions:
    • Construction of open wells in their habitat
    • Electrocution
    • A viral disease known as Canine Distemper Disease. (a majority of deaths in 2018 are reported to be due to CDD)
  • Further, Asiatic Lions are long-neglected with low allocation in conservation plans; Rs. 95000/ lion as compared to 15 Lakh/ individual in case of tigers.



About Asiatic Lion Conservation Project

  • Asiatic Lion Conservation Project will be a 3-year centrally sponsored scheme funded from CSS-Development of Wildlife Habitat (CSS-DWH) with centre-state contribution ratio of 60:40.
  • It focuses both on protection and conservation of the lion species.
  • It is mainly based on ‘species conservation over a large landscape” approach. Accordingly, Zone Plans and Theme Plans are developed.
  • Zone Plans include expansion of habitat and developing a Greater Gir region including Girnar, Pania and Mitiyala.
    • The Greater Gir region is then divided into Core Zone, the Sanctuary Zone, the buffer Zone for different levels of conservation.
  • Theme Plans include habitat improvement, protection, wildlife health service, addressing to man-wild animal conflict issues, research and monitoring, awareness generation, and ecotourism.

Main features of the project

  • Habitat improvement,
  • Bringing together multi-sectoral agencies for disease control.
  • Stepping up veterinary care by construction of veterinary hospitals
  • back-up stocks of vaccines that may be required
  • Increasing the number of lion ambulances.
  • ICT-driven monitoring and surveillance systems including
    • GPS Based Tracking
    • Automated Sensor Grid with magnetic sensors, movement sensors, infra-red heat sensors
    • Night vision capability enhancement
    • GIS based real time monitoring and reporting
  • A wildlife crime cell to step up protection
  • Creating a task force for the Greater Gir region
  • Establishment of additional water points
Section : Environment & Ecology

The problem with diesel

Headline : The problem with diesel

Details :


  • Automakers in India in the recent times have started moving away from diesel cars value chain.
  • The proportion of diesel cars in the total passenger vehicles sales has decreased from 48% in 2012-13 to 22% in 2018-19.



Decrease in price differential

  • The price differential between petrol and diesel has reduced substantially after the deregulation of diesel prices in 2014.


Introduction of BS VI norms

  • India is leapfrogging from BSIV to BSVI with 13 cities adopting BS VI norms starting this year and the entire country switching to BS VI fuel by April 2020.
  • The technological changes needed in a diesel engine are more complicated when compared to petrol engines.
  • As a result diesel cars will be prohibitively expensive.


Constraint on Oil Makers

  • The transition to BS IV took 7 years for oil refiners to start producing better fuel.
  • Thus the ability of oil refiners to produce enough quantity of high-grade dieselin accordance with BS VI standards is questioned.


Design constraints for Indian roads

  • The new-gen vehicles to meet the BS VI standards require the following technology upgrades:
    • Diesel particulate filter
    • Selective catalytic reduction system
    • Lean NOx trap
  • However the slow speeds on Indian roads makes it difficult for carrying out design changes with these critical components.
  • For instance the diesel particulate filter has a system to burn soot produced in the emissions.
  • This requires temperatures of around 600 degrees Celsius which is difficult to achieve at low speed driving on Indian roads.


In brief: BS VI Norms

  • Bharat Stage VI (BS VI) is an emission standard that will induce technology in the vehicles to reduce pollutant emissions.
  • The vehicles will mandatorily include OBD (On-board diagnostics) which will monitor the pollution caused by the vehicle in real time.
  • The BS-VI vehicles use selective catalytic reduction technology which substantially reduces particulate matter emission.


Specification of BS-VI norms for diesel engines

  • BS-VI grade fuel contains 10 parts per million (ppm) of sulphur as against 50 ppm in BS-IV fuels.
  • 10-20% reduction in particulate emission when used in BS-IV or lesser grade engines.
  • The Octane number for petrol engines – 91 under BS-VI emission norms. (BS II – 88)
  • The PM emission in diesel engines – 80% reduction
  • NOx emission in diesel engines – 68% reduction.


Diesel Engine Emissions

  • Incomplete combustion of diesel results in carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and aldehydes.
  • The characteristic smell of the diesel is due to hydrocarbons and aldehydes.
  • High temperature and pressure inside the engine gives rise to Nitrogen oxides including nitric oxide (NO) and traces of nitrogen dioxide (NO2).
  • Sulphur present in diesel gives rise to Sulfur dioxide (SO2) upon combustion.
  • Particulate matter includes soot, aromatic hydrocarbons, and hydrated sulfuric acid.


Selective catalytic reduction system

  • SCR systems are emissions control system that injects a fluid through a special catalyst into the exhaust stream of a diesel engine.
  • The fluid used is usually a reducing agent like urea that converts nitrogen oxides into nitrogen and water.
  • Thus SCR technology is used to reduce NOx emissions in diesel engine.


Diesel particulate filter

  • Diesel particulate filter is a filter that captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce particulate matter emissions from diesel engines.
  • If the soot is trapped inside the filter it gets clogged.
  • As a result the filter is regenerated by burning the soot particles at the exhaust pipe.
  • The soot is burnt at high temperatures of around 600 degree Celsius which is obtained by the temperature of the exhaust gas itself.
  • This regeneration process burns off the excess soot deposited in the filter, reducing the harmful exhaust emission and thus reduces the black smoke seen in diesel vehicles.
Section : Environment & Ecology

Tropical Cyclones

About Cyclone Fani

  • Cyclone Fani (pronounced as Foni) is a pre-monsoon tropical cyclone recently developed over Bay of Bengal.
  • It has been predicted that Cyclone Fani is likely to turn into a ‘severe cyclonic storm’ and may further develop into an ‘extremely severe cyclone storm’.



Tropical Cyclones

  • Cyclones developed in the regions between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, are called tropical cyclones.
  • The weather conditions of low latitudes, mainly rainfall regimes are largely controlled by tropical cyclones.
  • Tropical cyclones usually develop in summer season in the vicinity of Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ)over warm ocean surface.
  • Tropical cyclones are one of the mechanisms by which surface heat energy is redistributed from the equator to the poles.

Conditions necessary for development

  • Tropical cyclones are formed due to low pressure of thermal origin. The conditions favourable for the formation and intensification of tropical cyclone storms are:
    • Large sea surface with temperature higher than 27° C
    • Presence of the Coriolis force
    • Small differences in the vertical wind speed
    • A pre-existing weak- low-pressure area or low-level-cyclonic circulation
    • Upper divergence above the sea level system



Cyclones in India

  • India has a very long coastline which is exposed to tropical cyclones arising in the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea.
  • Indian Ocean is one of the six major cyclone-prone regions in the world.
  • In India cyclones occur usually in April-May (pre-monsoon), and also between October and December (post- monsoon).
  • The post-monsoon cyclones (in October and November), are usually stronger and more devastating.
  • The Eastern coastline is more prone to cyclones as about 80 percent of total cyclones generated in the region hit there.
  • The impact of the cyclones is mainly confined to the coastal districts, the maximum destruction being within 100 Km. from the centre of the cyclones and on either side of the storm track.
  • The maximum amount of damage caused by a cyclone happens during the time of the landfall.
  • The principal dangers from a cyclone include the gales and strong winds; torrential rain and high tidal waves (storm surges). Most casualties are caused by coastal inundation by tidal waves and storm surges.


Management of Cyclones:

  • There are many structural and non-structural measures for effective disaster management of cyclones.
    • Structural measures include construction of cyclone shelters, construction of cyclone resistant buildings, road links, culverts, bridges, canals, drains, saline embankments, surface water tanks, communication and power transmission networks etc.
    • Non-structural measures like early warning dissemination systems, management of coastal zones, awareness generation and disaster risk management and capacity building of all the stakeholders involved.


About India Meteorological Department (IMD)


  • The IMD is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India.
  • Headquarter: Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.
  • Regional Offices: Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune.
  • Functions:
    • It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology.
    • It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.
  • It is also one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization.
  • In the past few years, the IMD’s capability to predict and track the trajectories of tropical cyclones has improved considerably, leading to timely warnings and effective response measures.
  • As a result, the damage caused by these cyclones has been significantly reduced.


Marine plastic pollution: A backgrounder

Marine plastic pollution: A backgrounder

  • Plastic is the most prevalent type of marine debris found in oceans.
  • According to UNEP, about 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the world’s oceans each year.
  • Further 60-80% of the litter in oceans is plastic.
  • Currently the focus of studies on marine pollution is microplastic pollution.


Causes of marine plastic pollution

  • Human activities including both land-based and sea-based activities are the major sources of marine pollution in the world.
  • Land-based sources include:
    • Dumping of waste along coastlines
    • Littering on beaches
    • Breaking down of ships
    • Floods and other storm-related events flush this waste into the sea
  • The sea-based sources include:
    • Discarded fishing gear
    • Shipping activities
    • Legal and illegal dumping
  • Poor waste management especially in Asia.
  • Though Europe and America are the largest plastic producers, Asia is the largest dumper of marine waste.
  • According to a study, China was the top dumper of marine waste in the world.
  • India is mismanaging over 80% of its waste compared to 2% in the U.S.
  • Though India generates around 0.34 kg of waste per person per day (ppd), it is the 12 largest marine waste dumper in the world.
  • In contrast, USA though generates 2.58 kg ppd of waste it is the 20th largest dumper.


Impact of marine plastic pollution

  • Economic losses
    • Coastal communities are facing increased expenditures on beach cleaning, public health and waste disposal.
    • The shipping industry is impacted by higher costs associated with fouled propellers, damaged engines, and managing waste in harbours.
    • The fishing industry damaged gear and reduced and contaminated catch.
  • Ecological and biodiversity loss
    • It severely hampers ecosystem functions and services.
    • Fishing gear discared in the sea can entangle and kill marine life.
    • Fishing nets, plastic bags can trap fish and mammals, preventing them from swimming, foraging for food and mating.
    • Plastic causes severe damage to digestive tracts of various species including fish, seabirds etc.
    • Microplastics glued with toxins like pesticides can be ingested by small aquatic life.
    • These toxic microplastics can biomagnify as they move up the food chain accumulating in birds, sea life, humans etc.



  • Plastic debris can come in all shapes and sizes, but those that are less than five millimeters in length are called “microplastics.”



  • Primary source
    • Microbeads: Microplastics of sizes less than 1 mm are added as exfoliants to health and beauty products mostly used in cosmetics, cleaning agents, fiber fragments from washing of clothes, toothpastes etc.
    • Synthetic clothing was the largest contributor of microplastics.
    • The microbeads are mostly made from polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyesters.
  • Secondary source
    • Broken down larger plastic litter and debris.
    • This is a major problem in India’s coast due to mismanagement of land-based plastic waste
    • Recently large debris of plastic was recovered from the gut of dozens of species including mackerel near Mangalore, yellowfish tuna near Kochi and anchovies off the coast of Alappuzha.



  • Microplastics settle in phytoplankton at the base of the marine food chain.
  • These microplastics are ingested by marine fauna, including zooplanktons, mussel, oyster, shrimp, fish, whale etc.
  • These toxic microplastics can biomagnify as they move up the food chain accumulating in birds, sea life, humans etc.


Way Forward

  • To tackle this plastic menace, the UNEP launched CleanSeas campaign in 2017.
  • Under CleanSeas campaign the UNEP is urging governments
    • To enact policies to reduce the use of plastic
    • Targeting industry to minimize plastic packaging and redesign products
    • Calling on consumers to change their throwaway habits.
  • In 2017, the Kerala government began a program called Suchitwa Sagaram to prevent dumping of nets.
  • Accordingly the fishermen can now sell their damaged nets in a buyback programme.
  • Other coastal states should adopt similar programmes in India.
  • While most policies in India focus on ban on large plastics, we should also have a policy on microplastics.
Section : Environment & Ecology

In brief: Flyway of migratory birds

In brief: Flyway of migratory birds

What is a flyway?

  • Flyways are akin to highways in the sky for migratory birds.
  • The area covered by migratory birds over the course of its annual cycle is known as the flyway of that bird.
  • The migration routes often follow a north-south axis covering more than 30 countries.
  • They are seasonal in the sense that they move to milder climates at lower latitudes during their non-breeding season
  • The seasonal annual cycle of migratory birds includes:
    • Breeding in the north
    • Moulting (shedding of feathers)
    • Staging (resting)
    • non-breeding in the south
  • Birldlife International has designated migratory routes as 8 flyways in the world.
  • Importance: Identifying flyways is an important measure towards joint conservation of the migratory birds as it passes through more than 30 countries during its annual cycle.


Types of Flyways

Flyways in India

  • India is an integral part of 3 flyways.
  • About 370 species of migratory birds visit the Indian subcontinent mostly the wetlands of India as staging sites.

Central Asian Flyway

  • Encompasses migration routes over 30 countries for water-birds linking their northernmost breeding ground in Siberia to the southernmost non-breeding grounds in west and south Asia, the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean Territory.
  • National Action Plan
    • In September 2018, India launched a National Action Plan to save migratory birds flying in the Central Asian Flyway.
    • India is a critical stopover site to over 90% of the bird species in Central Asian Flyway.
    • Includes measures to manage wetlands and coastal areas used by 310 species of migratory birds.

East Asian-Australasian Flyway

  • Encompasses 22 countries extending from Arctic Circle, through East and South-east Asia including eastern India and Andaman and Nicobar Islands., to Australia and New Zealand.
  • About 178 waterbird species use this migration path every year.

Asian East African Flyway

  • Covers parts of western India.


Importance of Andaman and Nicobar Island

  • Andaman and Nicobar Island is an important staging site (resting) for migratory birds.
  • In the aftermath of Tsunami, the number of migratory birds spotted in A&N Islands has increased.
  • The latest birds that have been spotted include Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo, Zappey’s Flycatcher and Javan Pond Heron.
  • Bronze Cuckoo
    • Breeding site – Australia / Wintering site – New Guinea.
  • Zappey’s Flycatcher
    • Breeding site – China / Wintering site – Malay peninsula
  • Javan Pond Heron
    • Native of Thailand and Cambodia.


Section : Environment & Ecology