Ashtamudi Wetland. 19/08/02. Kerala. 61,400 ha. 08°57'N 076°35'E. An extensive estuarine system, the second largest in Kerala State, which is of extraordinary importance for its hydrological functions, its biodiversity, and its support for fish. The site supports a number of mangrove species as well as over 40 associated plant species, and 57 species of birds have been observed, including six that are migratory. Nearly 100 species of fish sustain a lively fishing industry, with thousands of fishermen depending directly upon the estuary for their livelihood. Population density and urban pressures pose threats to the site, including pollution from oil spills from thousands of fishing boats and from industries in the surrounding area and conversion of natural habitat for development purposes. Ramsar site no. 1204. Most recent RIS information: 2002.