The Tamil Nadu government will notify the Nanjarayan Tank in Tiruppur district as the 17th bird sanctuary in the State, Minister for Forests K. Ramachandran announced in the Assembly on Monday.
The Minister said that the 125.86 hectare water body, located in the outskirts of Tiruppur city, hosts around 130 bird species along with other flora and fauna. The Minister also said that a conservation centre will be established to describe the various bird species found in the tank. It will also focus on conservation and research. An initial sum of ₹ 7.5 crore has been allocated for the works.
Welcoming this announcement, K. Ravindran, president of Nature Society of Tiruppur, recalled that he and other nature enthusiasts from Tiruppur had petitioned C. Samayamoorthy, who took charge as the first Collector of Tiruppur district following its formation in 2009, to declare Nanjarayan Tank as a bird sanctuary. Former Collector G. Govindaraj had also visited the tank multiple times during his tenure regarding this demand, he said.
Migratory birds from various parts of the world visit Nanjarayan Tank from the first week of October and depart by end of March the next year. Mr. Ravindran said that as per his records, the Tank has recorded 181 bird species so far. Expressing concern over the decline in the number of birds visiting the Tank since 2015, he urged that the Forest Department to take steps to ensure restoration of the habitat after setting up the bird sanctuary.
Among the notable sightings in the Nanjarayan Tank, Mr. Ravindran highlighted the sighting of a flock of 15 ruddy shelducks (Tadorna ferruginea), which breeds in parts of Europe and Central Asia, in November 2020. “It is very rare to see such a flock of ruddy shelducks across southern India,” he said.
An official in the Forest Department said that the works will begin after the notification of the bird sanctuary and noted that this is a significant initiative by the State government regarding conservation of birds in Tiruppur district.