Threefold rise in bird numbers at Kodiyakarai this year

A total of 2,01,633 birds of 77 species were recorded, which included 2,01,113 water birds of 59 species and 520 land birds of 18 species.

Published: 01st February 2022 09:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st February 2022 09:41 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

NAGAPATTINAM: Over two lakh birds of 77 species were recorded in the two-day annual synchronised Tamil Nadu Bird Census held at Point Calimere Wildlife and Birds Sanctuary in Kodiyakarai. The count was more than thrice compared to previous year's census held in February last. Experts attributed the increase in bird count to prolonged monsoon this year.

A total of 2,01,633 birds of 77 species were recorded, which included 2,01,113 water birds of 59 species and 520 land birds of 18 species. The number of species has reduced from the last year's count of 118. Last year, a total of 56,800 birds were registered of which 54,647 were water birds and 2,153 land birds.

Chief Conservator of Forests, N Satish, told TNIE, "The increase in the arrival of birds is due to strong and prolonged monsoon compared to last year. The rains provided favourable conditions for the birds and also good amount of feed for them."

Wildlife biologist, Dr N Baskaran, from AVC Autonomous College in Mayiladuthurai, said, "The rains have yielded the result. Also, the census was conducted at the right time, which paved way for more accurate observation. More such censuses during the bird visit season should be conducted."

Among the recorded water birds, a large congregation of little stint (Kosu Ullaan) was sighted, numbering more than 1 lakh (80 per cent). Northern pintail (Oosivaal Vaathu) count was 18,280, marsh sandpiper (Chinna Pachaikaali) 2,790 and wood sandpiper (Pori Ullaan) 2,741 respectively. Pallas gull was the least sighted species.

Among the recorded land birds, Brahminy starling (Karunkondai Naaganavaai) was recorded the highest of 130 count. Fifty four Brahminy Kite (Semparunthu) was registered. Only one small blue kingfisher (Neelanira Meenkotthi) was sighted.

Satish said that a suggestion to conduct bird censuses three times a year ie., during pre-monsoon, monsoon and post-monsoon, was pitched in the feedback meeting conducted after the annual census. "We will take up the idea to the government," he added.

Talking about the need for making the sanctuary more sustainable, Dr S Balachandran, an ornithologist and Deputy Director of Bombay Natural History Society, who works in Kodiyakarai, said, "Even on dry days (without rain), the government should take steps to ensure availability of water to attract birds. Seawater can be diverted when there is no or less rains. Also, the area should be made free from any kind of pollution." He suggested inclusion of more experienced researchers in the bird census exercise every year.

India Matters


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