Lakshadweep Marine Bio Sphere Reserve- Lakshadweep Islands.(also VUFF-0103)
Many expeditions have taken place in the islands of Lakshdweep , only some calls are listed below.
VU7LD 01 to 31 Dec 2006 Kavaratti
Hamfest 15 TO 30TH JAN 2007; VU7RG, VU7MY,
VU7T, VU2CPL, VU3NXI,VU3HPF, VU2WH,VU2XE TILL OCT 20, 2017
VU7KP, VU2VKU BANGARAM IS. 15-18 May 2017
VU7AG,VU7KA 20 Nov - 10 Dec 2013. also: VU2VKU, PAI, NKS, CDP, RCT, NXM, ABS, CHM and VU3DMP
VU7KV 2014; VU7KP MAY 2017;
VU7RI 09 TO 30 OCT 2019
The coral islands in the Arabian Sea form the smallest of UT in India and known as Lakshadweep. This term in Sanskrit means one hundred thousand isles. (Laksha–one hundred thousand; Dweep-island). These islands lie directly along the trade route between Africa, Arabia and Malabar . According to the (2001 Census) Population: is 60,595 and the languages spoken are: Malayalam and jesari and Mahl. About 82 percent of the land mass is covered by privately owned coconut plantations. Local population survive on fishing and tourism.
The Lakhadweep are least studied coral atoll enclosing lagoons, submerged reefs and banks situated in the Arabian Sea, 200-300 km from the West Coast of India. They lie between latitude 80-140N and longitude 710-740E, covering an area of only 32 Km2 .The Laccadive islands are the northern part of the Laccadive-Chagos ridge in the western Indian Ocean extending over 2500 km.. The ridge is divided into three main segments which are referred to the Laccadive islands (Lakshadweep), the middle segment as the Maldive islands and southern segment as Chagos bank. There are 11 major islands and lagoons Kavaratti, Kalpeni, Agatti, Chetlat, Bitra, Kiltan, Kadmat, Amini, Bangaram, Suheli, Minicoy and 4 submerged reefs (Baliapani, Cheriapani, Perumalpar, Androth) and 5 banks (Bassas de Pedro, Sessostris, Coradivh,Aminipitti, Elikalpeni) Kavaratti is the capital city of these islands. The Lakshadweep group of atolls is separated from the Minicoy by the 90 channel. Most of the atolls have low-lying islands on the east, a reef on the west and a lagoon in between. The largest island is Minicoy with a length of about 9 km, and an area of 4.37 km2. The smaller inhabited island is Bitra with an area of 0.1 km2. The islands have a lagoon 4,200 km2, territorial waters of 20,000 km2 and 4,00,000 km2 of Exclusive Economic Zone
Seagrass beds are found along the coast of Tamil Nadu, Lakshadweep Islands, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Sundarbans.There are 770 species of seaweeds found in shallow waters all along the Indian coast, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, and Lakshadweep. The islands of
Andaman and Nicobar and Lakshadweep are considered to be biodiversity hotspots, where large numbers of endemic flora and fauna exist. Nearly 75 species of seabirds are found in the marine environment of India. Some species of marine terns breed in huge numbers on some islands, like Vengurla Rocks (Burnt Island), Pitti Island, and Adam’s Bridge. Many
species of seabirds are recorded on various offshore islands. 11 species of sea-grasses of India - with Enhalus acoroides being endemic. Seagrass community include Halophila ovalis, Halophila ovata, Halophila beccari, Halophila stipulacea, Thalassia lemprichii, Halodule uninervis etc. Ideal feeding ground for the endangered animals. The total productive area of Seaweeds is estimated around 10,000ha, with a standing of more than 18,000 tons. The common seaweeds found here are Ulva, Sargassum, Gelidiella, Gracilaria, Caulerpa, Halimeda, Padina, Hypnea, Turbinaria, Chondrococcus etc.
Pitti Island and the islands around it are supporting the breeding and migratory populations of many marine terns including Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus, Brown Noddy Anous stolidus, Great Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii, Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis and White-cheeked Tern Sterna repressa, and many other species of seabirds. The waters around Kavaratti, Agatti, Suheli, Bangaram, Kadmat, Amini, and Perumal Par support foraging range for marine birds. The sea water in a radius of 25 km is included as foraging range for Large Crested Tern Sterna bergii. Pitti Island was declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 2000.
The Beleapani Reef with waters around Chereapani Reef, Bitra, Chetlat, and Kiltan as foraging range for Sooty Tern, Great Crested Tern. It is an unprotected area.