Tiruchirapalli

Point Calimere wildlife sanctuary closed for a week due to water-logging

A water-logged Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Vedaranyam.

A water-logged Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Vedaranyam.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangements

VEDARANYAM

Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Vedaranyam Range has been closed for a week in view of water-logging caused by a heavy spell of rainfall.

Vedaranyam taluk recorded substantial rainfall on three consecutive days this month: 51 mm on November 1, 152.60 mm rainfall on November 2, and 50.40 mm on November 3.

The water-logged path inside the sanctuary to a length of over six kilometres, the only option for vehicle-bound tourists to take a look at the sanctuary, has turned unmotorable.

The Forest Department thought it fit to close the sanctuary for a week with effect from Monday as a pre-emptive measure to inform tourists in advance to keep away from the spot for Deepavali holidays.

The sanctuary was kept closed last time a year back due to a similar situation. This time around, the meteorological prediction of inclement weather for the next few days has also influenced the Forest department's decision to keep the sanctuary closed, sources said.

“There is a possibility of the wheels of vehicles getting stuck in the muddy path,” Nagapattinam District Wildlife Warden Naga Sathish Gidijala said.

Regular visitors have understandably impressed upon the Forest department the need to re-lay the road inside the sanctuary that is spread over 1,728.81 hectares. Blackbuck (Antilope Cervicapra) is the flagship species of the sanctuary. Other important animals are the spotted deer, black-napped hare, wild boar, Indian jackal, feral horses, palm civet, short-nosed fruit bat, jungle cat and monitor lizard.

The sanctuary that harbours the single-largest stretch of the unique dry-evergreen forest in the country besides open grasslands and tidal mudflats is of interest to tourists not only for its fauna, but also the presence of 364 flowering plants including 198 medicinal plants.

Point Calimere is the spot inside the sanctuary where the coast takes a 90 degree turn from the Bay of Bengal towards Palk Strait. The sanctuary and the surrounding wetlands are important wintering grounds for water birds from the North. Around 100 species of birds including the Greater Flamingo, Painted Stork, Little Sting, Sea Gull and Brown-headed gull have been making their presence felt since September.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:32:20 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/point-calimere-wildlife-sanctuary-closed-for-a-week-due-to-water-logging/article25427714.ece

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