Andaman Sea

About the Area

Located about 720 miles (1,200 km) from India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, unlike the Lakshadweep-Chagos chain, are high volcanic islands, arising from a submerged mountain chain that follows the southward extension of the continental shelf.
Extensive fringing reefs exist here, as well as a 320 km-long barrier reef on the west coast. Much of the wildlife on these islands is endemic, including 112 species of endemic birds. While poorly known scientifically, these reefs may prove to be the most diverse and best preserved in the Indian Ocean.

Local Species
The endemic bird species include Nicobar megapode (Megapodius nicobariensis), Nicobar green imperial pigeon (Ducula aenea nicobarica), and the Nicobar emerald dove (Chancophaps indica augusta).

The saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porusus) nests in the region, as do Hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and Olive ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys olivacea).

Marine mammals include Dugong (Dugong dugon), Finless porpoise (Neophocaena hocaenoides), and Blainville's beaked whale (Mesoplodon densirostris). Rich fish and invertebrate faunas exist on the reefs; fish families include Labridae, Pomacentridae, Scaridae, and Blenniidae. Nine species of seagrass are also present.

Threats
Increasing human settlement from the mainland as well as refugees from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have lead to damaging activities such as exploitation and clearing of mangroves for agriculture and housing, illegal logging, and development of aquaculture. In addition to the above, development of tourism and recreational activities, all exert stress on the natural resources of these islands.

Resources
Size:
N/A

Habitat type:
Tropical Coral

Geographic Location:
Bay of Bengal, off southern coast of Asia

Conservation Status:
Vulnerable

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