The Department of Forest has identified 58 varieties of water birds in different parts of the district.

The District Forest Officer, V. Sundara Raju, told ‘The Hindu' on Thursday, that the water bird census was carried out in Alathankarai, Manickaputheri, Therakalputhur, Thathayarkulam, Suchindrum, Theroor, Parakkai, Narikulam, Erachakkulam, Thengamputhur, Achankulam, Putheri and Manakudi estuary in Kanyakumari district. As many as five teams including the staff of Forest Department, ornithologists and members of various self-help groups participated in the census.

The Collector, Rajendra Ratnoo, inspected the programme at Puthalam. The team identified 6012 water birds in the water bodies situated in different parts of the district. According to sources, steps would be taken to declare all these water bodies as a protected one to prevent poaching and ensure safe breeding ground for birds in these water bodies including duck, geese, swans, herons, cormorants, grebes, rails, coots, sandpipers, plovers, skimmers, gulls, terns, flamingoes etc. The department has sent a proposal to the Government to conserve the water bodies as it would be very helpful to farmers. Under this programme, all water bodies would be desilted so that water could be kept in these tanks throughout the year for the benefit of these birds and farmers to undertake agriculture operations in different parts of the district.

As there was every chance to attract both domestic and foreign tourists, these places would be declared as reserve forests, said the DFO.

Steps to be taken to protect all water bodies