Staff Reporter

RAMANATHAPURAM: Thousands of migratory and shore birds have flocked to the Gulf of Mannar, especially Arichamunai in the Rameswaram island.

Though the entire stretch from Rameswaram to Dhanushkodi has been dotted with winged guests from far-away countries, the largest gathering is seen at Arichamunai, which is relatively an undisturbed area in the Rameswaram island.

A bird census team which visited several places, including Dhanushkodi and some of the islands of the Gulf of Mannar, was surprised to see the mass gathering of shore birds. The team has recorded around 11,000 seagulls at Arichamunai. The team spotted more than 12,000 Terns of five species, especially Caspian Tern and Crested Tern, near Dhanushkodi. “It is a treat to watch several species of migratory birds at a same place. This is the first time that I have seen a huge congregation of migratory birds in Arichamunai,” said G. Christopher, a field biologist from Marthandam and the team leader.

S. Shenbagamoorthy, Wildlife Warden, Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, who organised the census, told The Hindu that according to the preliminary findings, more than 80,000 birds were recorded in several places of the Gulf.