Chennai: Want to know about Pallikaranai marshland’s unique characteristics, its marine ecosystem, its various habitat types and its different species of birds, plants and animals? Pick up Paradise Regained: Biodiversity of Pallikaranai Marsh, a coffee table book, published by Conservation Authority of Pallikaranai Marshland, Chennai.
The book has nuggets of information on various types of wetlands of South India and Tamil Nadu, Pallikaranai’s biodiversity, its geographical and ecological significance and its degradation through land settlement. The marshland has shrunk from 6000 Ha in 1960 to 593 Ha in 2002. Stress is also laid on the importance of Ramsar Convention’s wise use of wetlands.
Efforts made by the conservation authority have borne fruit with the marshland playing host to thousands of migratory and resident birds now. It has been a treat for bird watchers.
Speaking to Deccan Chronicle V. Subbiah, District Forest Officer, Chennai Division, said, “We don’t have any official record or literature on Pallikaranai marshland. This book, with valuable information, aims at raising an awareness among the younger generation and the public on the significance of this marshland and the need to safeguard it. Those residing in the vicinity of the marshland must know its crucial ecosystem helps in flood mitigation and groundwater recharge.” The photographs (see a few above) vividly capture the inhabitants and winged visitors of the marshland in all their natural grandeur.