ARIYALUR: The number of birds visiting Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary in Ariyalur district has increased this year when compared to last year, retired professor of Tamil University C Sivasubramanian said.
Talking to The New Indian Express, he said, "We have surveyed the birds for the last two days. The arrival has increased more than last year. There are, however, no new species among the arrivals. The Ariyalur Forest Department has taken all steps to help the stay of such birds."
Spread over 453 hectares, the sanctuary is located near Keezha Kavattankurichi-Pullambadi road. A large number of migratory birds come here every year from November to February. The birds, arriving from Russia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Nigeria, build nests and stay here.
The sanctuary is a popular tourist destination. According to sources, survey is carried out every year. Last year, the number of arrival stood at 5,400 . This year, the Ariyalur Forest Department conducted a census on February 12 and 13. A group of students led by Sivasubramanian were involved in the task.
The survey put the total number of arrival at 6,500. Grebe and cormorant, Darter, Grey Pelican, Bar Headed Goose, white ibis, Little and Large Egret, Purple and Grey Heron, Open Bill Stork, Painted Stork, SpoonBill, Whistling Duck, Common Teal, Garganey, Shoveller, Pintail, Wigeon, Purple Moorhen are reportedly seen here. Owing to heavy rains, most of the waterbodies in the district are full and birds can are noticed there as well.
Ariyalur District Forest Officer R Guganesh and many students and forest officials were present at the survey. Guganesh said, "This year we set up sand dunes in the lakes and planted saplings for the birds to stay. In the future we will set up a watchtower to protect the birds and for the public to see them."