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Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park

Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park is a national park of India near Wandoor on the Andaman Islands. It belongs to the South Andaman administrative district, part of the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The park was created 24 May 1983 under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 to protect marine life such as the corals and nesting sea turtles prevalent in the area. It was placed under the protection of the Chief Wildlife Warden of the forest department of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. The park facilities and staff quarters are located in south Wandur beach. There are 2 major island groups in the park: the Labyrinth Islands and the Twin Islands The islands are situated 16 km (10 mi) south from Port Blair. The marine park covers 281.5 kmĀ² made up of 17 islands and the open sea creeks running through the area. There is a chance for ecotourism on the islands Jolly Buoy and Red Skin which are open during some seasons offering glass bottom boats, scuba diving and snorkeling as a way to see the park's coral reefs and marine life. The islands belongs to the Rutland Archipelago and are located between Rutland Island and South Andaman Island. Most of the coral reefs in the park are fringing reefs. The type and composition of vegetation varies from island to island. Most notably there you can see a difference between the tourist islands which suffer more anthropocentric change and others which do not. There are also some islands more isolated or protected from the effects of weather in the Bay of Bengal. Tarmugli, the largest island, is covered with thick mangrove vegetation, sand covered beaches, uprooted trees and sheet rocks. Twin Islands are an important breeding ground for turtles within the park.

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