12th edition of Tamirabharani Waterbird Count to begin on Jan. 21

A file photo of waterbirds recorded during the earlier editions of Tamirabharani Waterbird Count.

A file photo of waterbirds recorded during the earlier editions of Tamirabharani Waterbird Count.

The 12th edition of Tamirabharani Waterbird Count (TWC), an annual exercise jointly conducted by environmental outfits in Tirunelveli, Tenkasi and Thoothukudi district after the end of the northeast monsoon, will begin on January 21.

Thanks to the active northeast monsoon, the brimming irrigation tanks, including Koonthankulam, Kazhuvurkulam and Nainarkulam in Tirunelveli, Vaagaikulam in Tenkasi and Chettikulam in Thoothukudi, have attracted thousands of winged visitors, which have started nesting.

Hence, ATREE’s Agasthyamalai Community Conservation Centre (ACCC), Pearl City Nature Society, Thoothukudi, and Nellai Nature Club, Tirunelveli, have jointly organised TWC 2022 under the guidance of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Tirunelveli circle, this year.

“The Western Ghats forests that capture the rain and release the water into the streams and rivers such as the Tamirabharani feed a larger network of irrigation tanks in Tirunelveli and Thoothkudi districts. These wetlands support over 100 species of water birds, many of which are migratory species. Since we should have comprehensive data about the domestic and migratory birds in the water bodies in our vicinity, we are doing this exercise with the help of students and volunteers this year from January 21. Moreover, the survey will also study the threat looming large over these water bodies like encroachment, pollution, poaching of birds, if any, etc.,” says M. Mathivanan, coordinator, TWC 2022.

The important water bodies such as Koonthankulam, Thirupudaimaruthur, Vijayanarayanam, Nainarkulam and Gangaikondankulam in Tirunelveli, Vaagaikulam in Tenkasi and Kadambakulam, Perunkulam, Arumugamangalamkulam, Vellurkulam and Melputhukudi Sunai in Thoothukudi attract a large number of waterbirds during the northeast monsoon and the subsequent winter season. The birds play an important role in the ecosystem and people have strong cultural links associated with their arrival.

“Unfortunately, many of the wetlands are threatened by encroachment, pollution and urbanisation and there is no concern for local biodiversity found in these places. With an increasing demand for water both for developmental needs and human use, these wetlands are further threatened. The local communities around the wetlands should be aware of the precious natural resources and protect them against such changes for the benefit of both people and biodiversity. The TWC is an effort to bring attention to these wetlands to the local citizens,” Mr. Mathivanan says.

Bird experts and volunteers are invited to participate in the TWC 2022. Interested people can register their names in the online registration form They can also contact A. Saravanan by email: and phone 99947 66473. Registration will close on January 19.

Tentative programme of the TWC 2022: January 20 (3 p.m.) Orientation to volunteers through a virtual platform; January 21 and 22 (7 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Waterbird Census in Tenkasi, Tirunelveli and Thoothukudi districts.

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Printable version | May 24, 2022 11:13:25 am |