Tamil Nadu

Synchronized bird census begins in Villupuram and Cuddalore districts

Volunteers participating in the first day of the synchronised bird census at Kazhuveli sanctuary in Villupuram district on Friday

Volunteers participating in the first day of the synchronised bird census at Kazhuveli sanctuary in Villupuram district on Friday

The two-day synchronized bird census conducted by the Department of Forests commenced in Villupuram on Friday.

Fourteen teams, each comprising of a subject expert, four students, and Forest Department personnel participated in the census conducted in Kazhuveli sanctuary, Yedayanthittu estuary, and Oussudu sanctuary in Villupuram district and Pichavaram mangrove forests in Cuddalore district.

Tindivanam Forest Ranger, R.M. Perumal, and Forest personnel guided the student volunteers drawn from colleges in Mayiladuthurai and Tiruchi districts and Pondicherry University.

The annual census is being done by the Forest Department in coordination with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) with technical support from Universal Eco Foundation and Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF), a non-profit organisation.

The volunteers were briefed about the methodology of counting birds, at an induction programme before the census.

According to Villupuram District Forest Officer Sumesh Soman, “The main aim of the census is to know the diversity of different bird species including those migrating from the cold Arctic breeding grounds to the wetlands located in the State. The census is used as a management tool to obtain baseline data on the approximate waterbird population to avoid duplicate counts. The data would be useful to compare the waterbird population trends between different years.”

Mr. Soman said the synchronized census will cover the brackish wetland in Pichavaram forests and backwater and saltpans in Yedayanthittu estuary, Kazhuveli, and Oussudu bird sanctuaries. The volunteers would submit their field data by 10.30 a.m. on Saturday. After checking and cross-checking the data, a final report would be compiled by the Forest Department to initiate conservation initiatives.

Forest Department officials said that about 17,565 birds belonging to 47 species were spotted in Kazhuveli during the pre-bird census conducted by a team led by Dr. S. Balachandran, Scientist, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) on January 14 and 15.

The highest number was that of the Ruff (10,000), followed by Blue-tailed Godwits and Sand Plovers during the pre-bird census. Last year, more than 25,000 birds belonging to 57 species were spotted in the sanctuary.

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Printable version | May 27, 2022 6:26:43 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/synchronized-bird-census-begins-in-villupuram-and-cuddalore-districts/article38338703.ece