Schoolchildren have come forward to study the uniqueness of Kadalundy as a sanctuary for migratory birds.

The schoolchildren of Chaliyam, Beypore, Kadalundy, Vallikkunnu and Parappanangadi areas have taken a sudden fancy for the migratory birds arriving at the Kadalundy Vallikkunnu Community Reserve. Thanks to an awareness campaign conducted by a team of researchers from Kannur University with the help of some easy-to-understand posters, the children of some schools in the coastal belt have come forward to study the uniqueness of Kadalundy as a sanctuary for migrant birds.

“It has been a wonderful effort. We never bothered to understand the significance of the mudflats and mangroves at Kadalundy despite it being in such close proximity to us,” said M.C. Naseema, zoology teacher at Umbichi Haji Higher Secondary School, Chaliyam. After going through the posters created by K.M. Aarif, P.K. Prasadan, and S. Babu, Ms. Naseema said that they “offered Kadalundy in a capsule.”

“Even a person who is totally strange to Kadalundy will understand the specialty of Kadalundy by taking a quick glance at the posters. They are very simple, informative, and impressive,” she said. The children of her class posed various questions about the migrant birds of Kadalundy to Mr. Aarif, who led a 40-minute session for them. Using layman’s language, Mr. Arif unfurled before the class his eight years of research experience at Kadalundy.

From Siberia

The posters describe the Kadalundy Vallikkunnu Community Reserve not only as the first community reserve in the country, but as a haven for the winged visitors from Siberia as well. Students from other schools such as Crescent Public School, Chaliyam, and CBHS, Vallikkunnu, had little knowledge about the importance of mudflats in the Kadalundy estuary, till Mr. Aarif educated them of their significance for the migrant birds.

Using the posters, he told them that Lesser sand plover, Whimbrel, Brownheaded gull, Blackheaded gull, and Terns were the key species of Kadalundy. Lesser sand plover and Common redshank were the ‘over-summering’ species at Kadalundy, the researcher explained to the students, using a scientific terminology.

The posters have pictures of dominant migrant species, mangroves, mudflats and the prominent fishing methods of Kadalundy. A flock of Lesser sand plovers preening on the sandy beach is displayed to anchor the poster.

“There has been tremendous response from the students and teachers along the coastal schools we visited. We are happy we could create a spark in their minds,” said Mr. Aarif.

More In: Kozhikode