A small wetland in Perumbakkam near Sholinganallur IT Park has of late become home to a lot of water birds which are thronging the site.

Nature-lovers and ornithologists say that the marshland has to be protected. K.V.R.K. Thirunaranan of the Nature Trust, a regular visitor to the marshland who has recorded the presence of nearly 60 species of birds there, noted that water from the nearby Perumbakkam hillock flows into the Perumbakkam marshland.

Activists point out that the dumping of garbage, albeit on a small scale, is already happening at the marsh and if not checked, could endanger the habitat.

Mr. Thirunaranan added that this piece of wetland is important not only for the diversity of birds it manages to attract but also the fact that fresh water from here runs into the heart of the Pallikaranai marsh.

Thus the health of the Pallikaranai marsh is contingent on the status of this small wetland, he said.

Pheasant tailed jacana, purple heron, comb duck, fulvous whistling duck, common teal and pratincole are some of the species commonly found.

Jayashree Vencatesan of CareEarth, a biodiversity organisation, said the Pallikaranai marsh once stretched up to Kovalam creek.

“What we see today is a mere remnant of a big marsh which became fragmented owing to the laying of roads and establishment of roads and other infrastructure projects,” she said.

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