In parched Chennai, a few watering holes for birds

The Forest department is contemplating a takeover of some water tanks around the Pallikarnai marshland to better sustain the water network.

Published: 14th June 2019 05:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th June 2019 11:28 PM   |  A+A-

Flamingoes, coots and many other species of birds have been spotted at the Pallikaranai marshland | Martin Louis

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Though the city reeling under severe heat and water crisis, Pallikaranai marshlands and smaller reservoirs are providing much-needed respite for birds. While Poondi, Red Hills, Chembarambakkam and Chozhavaram tanks have run dry, hundreds of flamingoes, black-winged stilts, Eurasian Coots and Cormorants have made Pallikaranai home.

Founder of Nature Trust Organisation TVRK Thiruvaranan said his organisation had spotted 87 species of birds this summer. He further said flamingoes are often a sign of clean water. 

“In 2008, I was enthralled when I saw one flamingo. Right now we have nearly 300 birds,” he said, remarking that despite adversity, the marshland has been making significant progress.

This flat, low-lying land is significant due to its numerous inlets of freshwater that spread across 45 hectares. It flushes back stormwater from the southeastern parts of Chennai to the Bay of Bengal.

Even as the birds are relatively plentiful, this year’s population cannot be compared to last year’s, said Thiruvaranan.

“There are multiple factors that govern the water levels at the marshland. The level varies on the high and low tide; it depends on the level of water in the neighbouring tank and it obviously depends on the rainfall,” he said, adding that last year's monsoon failure was not critical.

Forest Ranger A Natarajan said that the Forest department had recorded nearly 190 species of birds in Pallikarnai marshland.

“Pallikarnai has served as a buffer against natural calamities. It has been instrumental in holding water even when there are floods and drought. It is for human’s own benefit that we need to protect this marshland,” he said.

The Forest department is contemplating a takeover of some water tanks around the marshland to better sustain the water network.

Stay up to date on all the latest Chennai news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp