Vaduvur: Foresters in the Thiruvarur district are enthralled over the annual migration of birds this year, as the number of species visiting the Vaduvur and Udayamar Thandapuram bird sanctuaries in the district had almost tripled over the past six years due to the constant conservation activities.
Elated over the sighting of nesting painted storks and the bar headed goose (maiden visit) the field biologists are now working on detailed forest management plans for the little known sanctuaries.
“Vaduvur and Udaya marthandapuram are less known sanctuaries and they were originally public works department tanks adopted by the forest department in early 2000. The intervention by the department has started paying dividends and the sanctuaries are now attracting close to 100 species from 38 in 2011,” said conservation scientist Dr A. Kumaraguru, who is now documenting the data sheets of annual bird census conducted in Vaduvurm Muthupet lagoon and Udayamarthandapuram by foresters. The photographic evidences with GPS readings had confirmed 138 species of birds for Vaduvur, 110 species at Muthupet lagoon and 89 species at Udayamarthandapuram during the synchronized census.
According to K. Arivoli, district forest officer, Thiruvarur, the recent rains and constant planting of aquatic plants and endemic trees for the past few years has changed the dimension of the artificial PWD tank in to the natural habitat for migratory birds.
“Open billed stork, Pheasant Tail Jacana, Common Coot, Northern Shovellers and White Ibis formed the major chunk of the birds that had visited the sanctuary and we are hoping for the migration season to end by last week of April,” said Vaduvur forest ranger Radhakrishnan.
“Wildlife experts from Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Trichy, Bird watchers from Vellore Institute of Technology and Madras University were roped in for the two day census and all the sanctuaries have each attracted close to 25,000 migratory birds besides the resident ones like king fisher and treepie,” said Dr V. Sai Saraswathi, Nature Club co-ordinator, VIT University.