Kerala

Panamaram heronry to get new status

Median egrets nesting in the Panamaram heronry.

Median egrets nesting in the Panamaram heronry.  

It will be developed as the first conservation reserve in the State

A proposal of the Wayanad district administration to develop the Panamaram heronry as a conservation reserve, a first in the State, will immensely benefit the heronry, which is a major breeding station of the white ibis in the State.

“We are planning to develop the heronry in association with the Forest Department, Panamaram grama panchayat, and the District Tourism Promotion Council (DTPC),” District Collector Kesavendrakumar told The Hindu on Friday after visiting the site.

Multiple threats

The heronry, on a small islet on the Kabani river, is an elevated sand bank covered with vegetation, predominantly bamboo groves. But massive destruction of bamboo groves after a massive blossoming of the plant in the district and illegal sand-mining near the islet are posing threats to the habitat of the avian population.

Night patrolling

Mr. Kesavendrakumar said he would direct officials to launch night patrolling in the area to stop sand-mining and appoint two watchers for heronry protection.

The authorities of the panchayat had expressed their willingness to declare this area a conservation reserve, Mr. Kesavendrakumar said adding that the panchayat would pass a resolution soon for the purpose.

DTPC meet today

A meeting of the DTPC to be held on Saturday would discuss measures to be adopted to conserve the breeding station and rejuvenate the flora, especially bamboo, he added.

Breeding under way

Many avian species including the threatened white ibis, purple heron, large egret, median egret, small egret, pond heron, night heron, and little cormorants have started breeding here at the onset of monsoon, C.K. Vishnudas, an ornithologist, said. The number of ibis breeding on the islet had increased considerably since 2005, he said. Seeram Sambasiva Rao, sub-collector, Wayanad; K.V. Uthaman, deputy conservator of forest, social forestry division, and A. Anitha, deputy director, Tourism Department, accompanied the Collector.

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Printable version | Mar 28, 2020 11:50:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/panamaram-heronry-to-get-new-status/article7335640.ece

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