Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Saturday, June 3, 2023

Fewer migratory birds in Vedanthangal this year







Bird watcher’s paradise Vedanthangal bird sanctuary is sporting a deserted look for the second year in a row. Last year, there was not much water in the Vedanthangal lake due to a depleted monsoon. The sanctuary had attracted only 2,500 birds. This year, even though the water situation is slightly better with 6 ft of water in the lake, only 3,000 birds have arrived, said a wildlife official. Madras Naturalists’ Society (MNS) member, V Santharam, said he visited Point Calimere bird sanctuary about a fortnight ago. The water bodies enroute this area were filled with water. In Vaduvoor tank, at least 10,000 migratory birds have been sighted, he said. Normally, more migratory bird arrive at the sanctuary in years with abundant rain. This was evident in the central regions of the state, where several water bodies got filled up and attracted large number of migratory birds, he said.






K V R K Thirunaranan, a naturalist and founder of the Nature Trust, said with the city receiving ample rain in September and October, water levels rose in Pallikaranai. As a result, Perumbakkam marshland attracted large number of birds. In Pallikaranai, Thirunaranan’s team members recorded more than 100 species of birds. When he visited Vedanthangal bird’s sanctuary recently, he said he saw only a dozen species of birds this year. Wildlife officials have deepened and desilted water bodies in Karikili and Vedanthangal to increase the storage of water. But the birds have not arrived in large numbers, he said. Another MNS member, who regularly visits bird sancturies in and around Chennai, said places such as Thaiyur lake, Siruthavusr lake and Ammoor lake in Kancheepuram district are seeing large number of terrestrial birds. A wildlife official said it is very clear that only if water storage levels are good at a sanctuary, migratory birds are sighted in good numbers.




Pack of white: A group of spot-billed pelicans and open-billed storks at Vedanthangal sanctuary, where 3,000 birds have arrived.







Source: The Times of India, 11 November 2019, Chennai.