Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary situated in Andhra Pradesh, India. The second largest surviving stretch of mangrove forests in India with 24 mangrove tree species,and more than 120 bird species. It is home for the critically endangered White-backed Vulture, and Long Billed Vulture.
Coringa Wildlife sanctuary is located 18km from the port city Kakinada, on the Kakinada-Yanam state highway, nestling on the deltaic branches of Gouthami and Godavari Rivers at Kakinada Bay. It is located between 16°-30' to 17°-00' N latitudes and 82°-14' to 82°-23'E longitudes.
The sanctuary is a part of the Godavari estuary and has extensive Mangrove and Dry Deciduous Tropical Forest. About half of the area is the backwaters, which include a sand pit of 18km stretch. The rivers Coringa and Gaderu and their deltic branches intersect the region, along with other water channels. This forms about 335.7 square km of marsh vegetation. The average temperature of the region is 17°C to 40°C. Average Rainfall is greater than 1,000 mm.
The Sanctuary in the estuary of river godavari has rich mangrove vegitation. At present there are thirty five species of plants belonging to twenty four families.The plant spices that are commnly found are: Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Avicennia alba, Excoecaria agallocha, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops decandra, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Lumnitzera recemosa, Sonneratia apetala, Rhizophora conjugata, Aegiceras corniculatum, Thespesia populneoides and Hibiscus tiliaceus.
Apart from the tree species, some of the shrubs found in the sanctuary are Dalbegia spinosa, Derris trifoliata. Herbs like Sesuvium portulacastrum, Suaeda maritima, Suaeda monoica and Salicornia brachiatta and grasses like Aeluropus lagopoides, Porteresia coarctate and Myriostachya wightiana are found in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary possesses a wide variety of avian fauna, because of the feed viable in the backwater of the mangrove forest. Particularly, during the low tide some of the areas are exposed (elevated mud flats having small fishes, shrimps, molluscs) attracting avifauna for its feed. Some critically endangered spieces like White-backed Vulture, and Long Billed Vulture are present in the sanctuary. The Painted Stork, Oriental White Ibis, Ferruginous Pochard found in the sanctuary are near threatened spices, and Spot-billed Pelican is a Vulnerable species. Significant populations of waders and mangrove birds are also present.
All together, more than 120 species of birds have been reported and among them some of the commonly found birds in the sanctuary are: Little Egret, Cattle Egret, Pied Kingfisher, Small Blue Kingfisher, Black-capped Kingfisher, Pond Heron, Reef Heron, Grey Heron, Night Heron, Little Stint, Sandpiper, Red Shrank, Red-wattled Lapwing, Crow Pheasant, Flamingos, Sea Gulls, Purple Heron, Brahmini Kite, Openbill Stork, Little Cormorant.
Apart from the avian fauna the sanctuary has a fair population of Golden Jackal, Sea turtle, Fishing cat, Estuarine Crocodile, and a healthy breeding population of Smooth-coated otter. The Sanctuary has a 18 km. long sand spit where the species of Olive Ridley sea turtle nest during January - March every year.