Chennai

Oussudu lake, a fully protected wetland now

An important bird area, Oussudu lake is located between the Pulicat and Point Calimere wetlands.— File PHoto

An important bird area, Oussudu lake is located between the Pulicat and Point Calimere wetlands.— File PHoto  

Seven years after the Puducherry government declared the Oussudu lake as a birds’ sanctuary, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department has finally woken up and declared 331 hectares of the wetland in its territory as a bird sanctuary.

An important bird area, located between the Pulicat and Point Calimere wetlands, the about 800-acre Oussudu lake spreads equally in Puducherry and Tamil Nadu territories. About 390 acres on the Puducherry were declared as a bird sanctuary.

“The Puducherry government has been requesting the Tamil Nadu government to declare the wetland on its side as a sanctuary. The Centre has also been insisting that it be declared a sanctuary for a few years now,” says a forest official here.

GO issued

Reacting a bit late, the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, through a government order on March 31 has announced the creation of Oussudu lake in Putturai and Perambai villages in Vanur taluk in Villupuram district as a bird sanctuary. On April 22, it was notified in the gazette as an area of adequate ecological, faunal, floral and geo-morphological significance for the purpose of protecting, propagating and developing wildlife and its environment.

Designated as one of the important wetlands of Asia by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the wetland will have protection from both sides, says Satyamoorthy, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Puducherry.

Nesting site

Apart from being a nesting site for few species like common coot, flocks of a few thousand flamingos have been noticed in the past two years when the migratory season comes to a close, he says.

Poaching

Sporadic incidents of poaching were reported some years ago. Already, two forest departments were joint patrolling the area. Illegal fishing will be stopped totally, he says.

“Though it is an artificial (man-made) lake, it has been a haven for a variety of migratory and inland birds. In spite of such ecological importance, this wetland has been plagued by anthropogenic activities,” says T. Murugavel of the Environment Monitoring and Action Initiating (EMAI).

The areas in and around the lake are abused by several industries producing glass, rubber, coir, cosmetic industry, a brewery, dairy and plastic-molding factory. Poaching also has been rampant.

All these years, it was believed that poachers from Tamil Nadu were responsible for the illegal activities, he said.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 8:56:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/oussudu-lake-a-fully-protected-wetland-now/article7136253.ece

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