It has the potential to be declared a bird sanctuary, says Pal Pandi

The birds, both native and migratory species, which come in a flock to relish the rich flora and fauna in and around the 440-acre Nanjarayan tank, situated a bit off Tirupur-Uthukuli Highway, had a ‘special friend of them’ to spend a day with on Thursday. Pal Pandi, nicknamed ‘Bird man’ with around 40 years of opulent experience as a bird watcher in Koonthankulam bird sanctuary, near Tirunelveli, and winner of many international and domestic awards, came to the area on an invitation from different stakeholders involved in the preservation of the Nanjarayan tank and its bird habitat.

“He has been invited to study whether the area, which is an abode of around 125 migratory bird species from as far as Western Europe and North American continent in seasonal spells, can be made into a bird sanctuary,” said K. Raveendran, secretary, Tirupur Nature Society. The District Planning Committee under the chairmanship of District Panchayat Chairman has plans to promote tourism in the area. After a day’s observation, Mr. Pandi said that the area had the potential to be declared a bird sanctuary provided certain facilities for the birds and also for watchers were additionally created. According to him, there is a need to nurture trees like ‘neermarathu,’ ‘naaval,’ and ‘aththi,’ along the banks of tank. The planting of the species’ would improve the nesting possibilities and thereby, make many of the species remain in the area for longer periods.

“For visitors, three bird watching towers will be ideal considering the expanse of the area,” he said. He, however, sounded caution on the plans of setting up recreational park in the area for the tourists.

“Such parks, if to be built, should come up either on the periphery of the sanctuary area or a bit away,” he said. Similarly, he said that no boating should be allowed in the tank.