The Villupuram Forest Department will conduct the synchronised two-day annual bird census at the Kaliveli bird sanctuary and adjoining areas in the Yedayanthittu estuary, Oussudu bird sanctuary, and about 10 other important wetlands/tanks that have a recorded presence of water birds, in Villupuram district, on January 28 and 29.
The annual census will be done by the Forest Department in coordination with the Universal Eco Foundation, a Puducherry-based biodiversity conservation organisation.
According to District Forest Officer Sumesh Soman, a team of bird enthusiasts and experts and another 50-member team of volunteers and students from Pondicherry University will carry out the census from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on January 28 and 29. “The participants will be divided into groups and will undertake the census simultaneously in Kaliveli sanctuary, Yedayanthittu estuary, Oussudu bird sanctuary, and other wetlands. We have planned 12 transect lines including eight in Kazhuveli and two each in Yedayanthittu and Oussudu,” he said.
Each group will consist of at least one subject expert, and the data will be recorded in a scientific manner. The census will also be covering important bird areas adjoining the sanctuaries and will be conducted in accordance with international norms. The data will be compiled in two days, said a Forest Department official.
The census will also be simultaneously held in Veeranam tank, Wellington tank, and Bahour tank in Cuddalore district and Gomukhi, Manimutharu, and Mookanur areas of Kallakurichi district.
Last year, more than 22,000 birds belonging to 175 species were recorded in Kaliveli. The second phase of the bird census scheduled on March 4 and 5 will cover terrestrial birds.