Status of Coastal Sand Dunes for conservation and Management

 / Research / In-House /CMR/ Status of Coastal Sand Dunes for conservation and Management

The Project

Coastal Sand Dunes (CSD) are geo-morphological features shaped by onshore wind actions that accumulate sand to the elevated side of the land from the beaches. Sand dunes act as a physical barrier for coastal protection as well as an important habitat for many coastal flora and fauna. Government of India has notified sand dunes as one among the important geo-morphological features in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 2011 (CRZ 1A): Ecologically Sensitive Areas). Destruction and degradation of natural coastal habitats such as sand dunes are on the rise due to anthropogenic activities as well as natural events. This project was aimed to prepare an inventory of sand dune flora and its associated faunal species, ground verify the status of coastal sand dunes for selected areas and suggest suitable restoration methods for vulnerable CSD.


The main aim of the project was to identify the presence and morphology of existing coastal sand dunes along the coastal region of India in selected locations


  • Preparation of checklist of floral and faunal species inhabiting coastal sand dunes from east and west coast of India

  • Understand the health of existing coastal sand dunes, by determining the abundance and diversity of floral and faunal species in selected sites

  • Document species present in coastal sand dune ecosystem and prepare unique identification characters (CUI) to integrate in the schema of CoMBINe database

Key Findings

  • A total of 37 species belonging to 26 families and 37 genera were recorded from the sand dunes along Tamil Nadu coastline.

  • Marina, Thiruvanmiyur and Pulicat were studied in Tamil Nadu coast and the vegetation cover was 88% in Marina, 62% in Pulicat and 39% in Thiruvanmiyur (39%).

  • The vegetation was dominated by Ipomoea pes-caprae, followed by Pedalium murex, Spinifex and Datura metel.

  • A total of 21 species belonging to 15 families and 21 genera were recorded in the sand dune area of Shamuka Beach, Odisha.

  • The threats identified in the selected coastal sand dune sites were erosion, decrease in the water table, overgrazing, housing and industrial development, accumulation of plastic wastes, road construction and sand mining.

A luxuriant dune dominated by Spinifex vegetation at Shamuka Beach, Odisha