Gulf of Mannar National Park is a marine national park located along the south-eastern coast of India, in the Gulf of Mannar. It lies between the states of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. The park was established in 1986 and covers an area of 10,500 km2. It is one of the world’s most productive and diverse marine ecosystems and is home to a wealth of marine species, including dolphins, turtles, and a variety of fish and corals.
The Gulf of Mannar National Park is formed by a series of small islands, sandbanks and reefs. It is a shallow region with a depth of 10–20 meters. The sea floor is covered with sand and mud and is rich in nutrients. The islands are fringed with mangroves and coral reefs, which provide refuge and food for numerous species of fish, coral, and other marine creatures.
The Gulf of Mannar National Park has a warm climate, with average temperatures ranging from 24–32°C. The region experiences heavy rainfall during the monsoon season, from June to September.
The park is fed by several rivers including the Vaigai, Pambar, Chittar, Vaippar, Manimuthar, and Thamirabarani. These rivers are important sources of water for the park and are sources of nutrients and sediment for the marine life.
- The park is home to a wide variety of species, such as sea turtles, dugongs, dolphins, crabs, molluscs, and over 300 species of fish.
- It is also home to several threatened species, such as the Indian Ocean humpback dolphin, green turtle, olive ridley turtle, and hawksbill turtle.
- There are also several species of birds, such as the white-bellied sea eagle, Brahminy kite, and terns.