11 January 2013

Tamil Nadu Bird Sanctuaries

In this area we are in some ways in a similar position to many of the below Bird Sanctuaries in that during the monsoon season many reservoirs and catchment areas at Tiruvannamalai get filled with water. Unfortunately as Tiruvannamalai is not a rural village anymore, the water in the reservoir areas gets pumped into the town for commercial and residential use.

 In the last ten years I can only remember one time (about three years ago) when the rains were so bountiful and the ground water table so sufficient, that major reservoir areas like the Samduram Erie did not need to be drained. In that year even in 100 degrees farenheit, the reservoirs remained full throughout the hot Summer.

Samudram Eri after a very good Monsoon

Much of the water running into the catchment areas is alive with the possibility of life and even without the necessity of artifically stocking the reservoir areas, within a couple of months, the lakes and tanks are full of freshwater shrimp, prawns and fish indigenous to Tamil Nadu. One year I even discovered a very large and very beautiful green turtle at the Samudram Erie.

About eight years ago local fishermen received permission from the Municipality to artifically stock the lake with young fish (fish fry), and harvest the fish at the end of the season. There has never been such a year at the Samudram Eri (southwest of the town of Tiruvannamalai) in the variety and number of visting and nesting migratory birds who had come to stay and partake of the fish in the reservoir lake.

I am currently searching for around 5 acres of land at the back of the Samudram Eri in order to create a Bird Haven for both indigenous and migratory birds. Once the land is located, purchased and developed into a beautiful habitat specifically tailored in providing food and a secure nesting environment to visiting birds, I am very excited by the possibility of working harmoniously with local Government to hopefully decide to request that the Samudram Eri be declared a protected bird sanctuary.

This posting is to list current Bird Sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu and to specific the variety and types of birds that visit specific Sanctuaries.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary 
This Bird Sanctuary was declared in 1989, with an estimated area of 47.63 hectares. The sanctuary area is within the community tank embankments and its immediate water holding channel, measuring approximately 15 meters from the bottom of the embankment. Most notable feature of the sanctuary is the prominent growth of Babul (Acacia nilotica) trees. It is adjacent to the Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary. 

The Kanjirankulam and Chitrangudi birds sanctuary are the natural habitat of winter migratory birds and provide safe place for roosting, breeding and feeding for birds with considerable diversity in nesting and feeding behavior. 

Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary 
This Sanctuary was declared in the year 1989, with an estimated area of 66.66 hectares in Keela Kanjirankulam and 37.55 hectares in Mela Kanjirankulam. 

Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary 
Spread over 454 hectares the Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary is located in Perambalur district of Tamil Nadu. This Sanctuary is now home for more than 180 species of birds which includes 100 species of land birds. During peak season more than 25,000 birds have been recorded. 

In previous season over 250 nests were counted in what is a breeding ground for Grey Pelican, Spoonbill, Ibis, Openbill stork and the Cormorant. Important land bird species include the Rosy Pastor, Peregrine Falcon, Osprey, Marsh Harrier and the Tawny Eage. 

Karikili Bird Sanctuary 
Located about 86 kilometres from Chennai in Madurantakam Taluk of Chengai Anna District, this is one of the most tranquil and beautiful places near Chennai. Spread over 61.21 hectares, it is comprised of two rain fed irrigation tanks. The water enriched by bird droppings results in increased yield. Beginning with Open Billed Storks, other birds start arriving in September-October. Karikkili is a haven for Ducks and Waders. Pintailed Ducks, Garganey teals, Common Teals, Shovellor, Little Grebe or Dab Chick, Herons and Egrets are amongst other avian visitors. 

Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary 
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary is a unique sanctuary actively protected and managed by the Koonthakulam village community. The largest breeding water bird reserve in south India attracts more than 100,000 birds annually. It is located 35 kilometers from Tirunelveli. It is comprised of Koonthankulam and Kadankulam tanks which cover an area of 130 hectares. It was declared a Sanctuary in 1994. 

Melselvanur-Keelselvanur Bird Sanctuary 
Mela-Keela Selvanoor Bird Sanctuary was declared in 1998 and is located near Sayalkudi in Ramanathapuram district. This is the biggest Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu. The total area of the Sanctuary is 593.08 hectares. 

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary 
Point Calimere Wildlife covers an area of 6.66 square miles. This Animal Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary is at Point Calimere, Thanjavur District. It consists of tidal swamps, dry evergreen forests and mangroves. The Sanctuary is famous for its Flamingos. A large variety of water birds including Teals, Gulls, Terns, Plovers and Stilts can be seen during winter months. Mammals include Chital and the Wild Boar. As well as water birds Dolphins and Olive Ridley Turtle come close to the shore. 

Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary has recorded the second largest congregation of migratory water birds in India, with a peak population in excess of 100,000, representing 103 species. 

In October water birds arrive from Rann of Kutch, Eastern Siberia, Northern Russia, Central Asia and parts of Europe for their feeding season and start returning to those breeding places in January. Water birds include the Spot-billed Pelican, Spotted Greenshank, Spoonbill Sandpiper, the Black-necked Stork, White Ibis, Asian Dowitcher, Lesser Flamingo, Spoonbill, Darter and Painted Stork. 

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary 
This Sancutary has an area of 481 sq kms and it is the second largest brackish water lagoon in India.It straddles the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu states on the Coromandal Coast in South India. 

The lake encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary. Every year approximately 15,000 Greater Flamingos are reported to visit the lake along with Pelicans, Kingfishers, Herons, Egrets Painted Storks, Spoonbills and Ducks, Little Grebe, Indian Cormorant, Little Cormorant, Asian Openbill Stork, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Lesser Whistling Teal, Spot bill Duck, Great Thickknee and Stone Curlew. 

The highest concentrations of Flamingo are found in the periphery of the lagoon where the water level is below 40 centimeters (16 in). The concentrations of flamingos are also associated with high algal, fish and benthic diversity. 

Several species of wintering waterfowl have been noted including Bar-headed Goose, Ruddy Shelduck, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Brown-headed Gull, Black-headed Gull, Whiskered Tern, Gull-billed Tern and Caspian Tern. Birds of prey which appear in winter are the: White-bellied Sea Eagle, Osprey, Harriers and Peregrine Falcons. 

Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary 
Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary was created in December 1999. The Sanctuary is home to variety of migratory water birds like Coot, Grey Heron, White Ibis, Open bill Storks, Night Heron and Purple Heron. 

Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary is located in Thiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu. The total area of the sanctuary is 45 hectares. 

The Sanctuary is basically an irrigation tank that is fed by water from Mettur dam and by the northeast monsoon from August till December. It remains dry from April till August. 

Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary 
Created in July 1999, the Sanctuary attracts more than 40 species of water birds like Ibis, Painted stork, Grey pelican, Pintail, Cormorant, Teals and Herons. 

Vaduvoor Bird Sanctuary is a favorite flyaway spot for migratory birds and has recorded congregation up to 20,000 birds in November. The ideal time to visit the sanctuary is November – December when congregation of migratory birds is maximum. One can spot more than 40 species of water birds like Ibis, Painted stork, Grey pelican, Pintail, Cormorant, Teals and Herons. 

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary 
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is one of the smallest and oldest in the country with a unique history. The local people have been protecting the sanctuary for centuries now because they have realized that the bird droppings falling into the tank increases nitrogen content of the water and when used to irrigate crop increases the yield greatly and saves the cost of fertilizers. As far back as 1798, the village folk convinced the authorities to give protection to the birds of the 30 hectare area of the Vedanthangal tank. 

Around 30,000 birds come every season even though the area is just 30 hectares It then attracts multitudes of Herons, Egrets, Storks, Ibises and Spoon Bills. If the monsoon is heavy, these trees can be partially submerged. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is one of the oldest water bird sanctuaries in the country. 

Vedanthangal in Tamil language means 'hamlet of the hunter' and this area was once a favorite hunting spot for the local landlords some 300 years ago. The region attracted a variety of birds because it’s dotted with small lakes that acted as feeding grounds for the birds. The sanctuary features thousands of birds coming from various countries, some of which can be easily identified. 

Some easily found bird species include Cormorants, Darter, Grebes, Large Egret, Little Egrets, Moorhen, Night Herons, Paddy Bird, Painted Stork, Pintails, Pond Heron, Sandpiper, Shovellers, Terns, White Ibis and many more. 

The migratory birds include Garganey Teals Canada, Snake Bird Sri Lanka, Grey Pelican Australia, Grey Heron Bangladesh, Open-billed Stork Bangladesh, Glossy Ibis Sri Lanka, Painted Stork Siberia, Spoonbill Burma and Spot Bill Duck Canada. 

Vellode Bird Sanctuary 
Vellode Bird Sanctuary of Erode District of Tamil Nadu, has an area of 77.185 hectares. It is situated in Vadamugam Vellode village. 

Vettangudi Bird Sanctuary 
This sanctuary encompasses Periya Kollukudi Patti, Chinna Kollukudi Patti and Vettangudi Patti tanks extending to a total area of 38.4 hectares. It was declared a Bird Sancutary in 1977. 

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Bird Havens 
As well as the 13 established bird sanctuaries at the southernmost continental range in Tamilandu (listed above) further bird havens below. 

• Kallaperambur lake near Thanjavur has recently been declared as a bird sanctuary by the Forest department. Improvement works remain to be undertaken to the lake. 

 • Suchindram Theroor Bird Sanctuary is a proposed protected area comprising the Suchindram Kulam wetlands and Theroor Kulam both near Suchindram town in Kanyakumari District. Being at the extreme southern tip of India, this area is the southernmost bird sanctuary in the continental range of the Central Asian Flyway. 

Suchindram -Theroor Bird Sanctuary is noted for the wide variety of migratory water birds that winter there, including: Painted Stork, Spot-Billed Pelicans. Also seen here are Cattle Egrets, Great Cormorants, Darters, Purple Swamphen, and Bronze-Winged Jacanas. Resident raptors include pied kingfisher, brahminy kite and marsh harrier. 

Other water birds are Dabchick, grey heron, Garganey, purple heron, Cinnamon Bittern, Open Bill Stork, Cotton Pygmy Goose, Whiskered Tern and Little Tern, Black-Winged Stilt, Greenshank, Little Ringed Plover and the Common Sandpiper. 

• Viralimalai Peacock Sanctuary is in the small town of Viralimalai, situated 30 km from Thiruchirapalli and 40 km from Pudukkottai. It is known for its Murugan temple and the adjacent Peacock Sanctuary. The town is bestowed with a large number of wild peacocks, which roam around the Murugan temple. The town, Temple and Peacock Sanctuary have been declared and funded as a Heritage Place by order of the Governor. 


Anonymous said...

very good
bharath kumar madurai

NKNAIR said...

Very much an useful article. Nice write up.