K.V.R.K. Thirunaranan is fighting for the birds in his backyard. T. Madhavan on the man's zeal for the Pallikaranai and Perumbakkam wetlands

For most of those who know K.V.R.K. Thirunaranan, there is a ring to his name, something close to a bird call. Because he is engaged in efforts to salvage whatever is left of the wetlands in the southern suburbs.

He had little formal training in the study and assessment of wildlife, but made up for it with his passion for watching animals and birds in their natural habitats. A resident of East Tambaram, he began to study the wetlands in and around his area.

In 2003, he founded The Nature Trust with a small group of like minded Nature lovers. The organisation would create awareness about fauna and flora in an attempt to protect them in their natural habitats.

Ten years on, the voluntary organisation has made an impact and is particularly known for its work at the Pallikaranai and Perumbakkam wetlands.

“With the support of Nature lovers and State Government agencies, we are taking steps to protect these wetlands,” says Thirunaranan.

With its volunteers, the Trust conducts programmes on creating awareness about and preserve the natural environment. It conducts classes on environmental studies and organises birdwatching trips for students. The Trust also works closely with the media to highlight issues plaguing wetlands.

At present, the Trust is partnering with government agencies in an effort to protect a wetland in Perumbakkam that is spread across 70.3 hectares. This wetland, located between Sholinganallur and Medavakkam, is one of the freshwater sources for the Pallikaranai marsh. Thirunaranan is among a group that is fighting for it to be declared a protected wetland.

The trust is working with the Conservation Authority of Pallikaranai Marsh Lands (CAPML) to conserve the wetland. Volunteers of the Trust have been monitoring the wetland from 2000 and undertaking bird counts from 2010.

The trust may be reached on phone number: 9444477358.

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