Marine life in Andaman Islands

World's largest sea turtles - the leatherback turtles - come to the calm and serene waters of Andaman Islands every year for nesting.
These endangered species - called Dermochelys Coriacea - look huge - growing up to two meters long and one meter in diameter and growing up to 500 kg in weight.
These turtles flock to Andaman coast line in huge numbers - as many as 1,000 turtles every year. Only four places in the world can boast of these nesting places and Andaman is one with 30 of its islands where the turtles nest nominated as National Parks.
As many as 94 islands have been chosen as National Parks - including those with nesting leatherback turtles.
These Islands include some 8 National Sea Parks as well.
Commercial fishing is not encouraged generally in Andaman Islands and no fishing is allowed in the restricted and reserve areas except by the aboriginal tribe people who live in the restricted areas. Hence it is where "fish die of old age" because they are allowed to live a full life.

About land life

There are exotic animals, birds and butterfly species which are endemic to only these areas which add to the ecological special nature of these islands.
There are as many as 58 species of animals live in Andaman & Nicobar Island Groups. Some 60% of these animals are endemic to these islands only.
There are a host of butterflies flocking to the thick tropical forests of Andaman Islands. Half of these butterflies are found only in these Islands.
The largest of the land-living arthropod (Birgus Latro) lives in Andaman Islands. These are land-living crabs. Since they climb up coconut trees at night time for the soft kernels of tender coconuts stealthily they are nick-named as - ‘Robber Crabs.’ They make a tiny hole and suck the entire kernel portion leaving out the shells as they are. These crabs are found in some parts of Nicobar Islands as well as areas of South Sentinel Island.
Very few of the state animal Dugong are held in captivity as they are very shy and do not breed easily. There are only five dugongs in captivity in the world. Japan and Australia each have two dugongs at Mie Toba Aquarium and at Sea World on the Gold Coast, Queensland where they draw huge crowds of visitors. The fifth dugong is in Singapore at Underwater World, Sentosa Island. As they prefer the sea grass abundantly available along the Andaman Island coast line, sometimes lucky visitors have been able to spot them in all their natural glory!

Attracting famous biologists

Andaman & Nicobar Island Groups have always fascinated the common men and learned people alike. The peculiar ecological balance and beauty, the quaint ethnicity and the breathtakingly beautiful coral reefs draw huge crowds year after year.
In the year 2002, Andaman & Nicobar Islands have been identified as ‘Bio Diversity Spots’ by UNESCO. Some 62 marine scientists gathered in March 2002 under the auspices of UNESCO and recognized the rare ecologically and biologically special feature of Andaman & Nicobar Group of Islands and named them as Bio Diversity Hotspots with potential to be named as World Heritage Sites.

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