Chennai

Birds move on to greener pastures

Agricultural fields are the main feeding ground for the wetland species of birds. With the depletion of feed, naturally, migrant birds opt for other places, where feed is available in plenty

Agricultural fields are the main feeding ground for the wetland species of birds. With the depletion of feed, naturally, migrant birds opt for other places, where feed is available in plenty  

more-in

With the absence of rains in and around Vedanthangal, the number of birds at the sanctuary has come down this season.

Forest department authorities said, with the onset of the northeast monsoon last month, about 2,000 birds — mostly open-billed storks and white ibis — had arrived in large numbers. But since the rains stopped, the sanctuary has only about 500 birds now.

Open-billed storks, darters, little cormorants, spoonbills, two species of egrets, shovellors, grey herons, painted storks, pelicans and glossy ibis are some of the local migrants that come to Vedanthangal to nest.

Among them, painted storks, pelicans and glossy ibis come only towards December end, according to forest authorities.

Karikili, another small waterbody located a few kilometres away from Vedanthangal, attracts ducks, which migrate from one continent to the other for breeding.

K. Geethanjali, wildlife warden, Chennai, said the water levels at both Vedanthangal and Karikili had not reached their maximum limits this year. A couple more showers are required for this to happen.

At present, a small number of garganeys or grey-winged teals can be found in Karikili. As far as Vedanthangal is concerned, there are only open-billed storks and white ibis. Other species of birds may come later, said Ms. Geethanjali.

K. Gnanaskandan, member of Madras Naturalists’ Society, said the number of birds to Vedanthangal and Karikili had come down in the last season. This could be due to availability of plentiful water in Muttukadu, Kelambakkam and Perumbakkam wetland that attracts a large number of birds during the migratory season.

As a result, many avid bird watchers spend more time at these waterbodies than at Vedanthangal, he said.

T. Murugavel of Environment Monitoring and Action Initiating said many paddy fields in and around Vedanthangal had been converted into residential plots.

Agricultural fields are the main feeding ground for the wetland species of birds. With the depletion of feed, naturally, migrant birds opt for other places, where feed is available in plenty.

The forest department should initiate action to stop construction activity in Vedanthangal by declaring the surrounding area as an ecologically-sensitive zone, he said.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics Society Chennai
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 5:12:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/birds-move-on-to-greener-pastures/article6578759.ece

Next Story