Updated: Sep 2, 2020
Chennai: While Chennaiittes and residents of Kancheepuram bore the brunt during last week heavy rain, the deluge had a direct impact on bird migration in north Tamil Nadu. Thousands of migratory birds flew out of greater Chennai area as the heavy deluge battered the city and Kancheepuram district. Their population dipped and is now slowly on the rise again with the birds flying back to Vedanthangal bird sanctuary. From a low of 5,000 last week, Wednesday recorded a healthy 20,000 count, confirmed Tamil Nadu foresters and conservationists with Biodiversity Conservation Foundation.
“The birds are now vacating their temporary abode and are returning home at Vedanthangal and Karikilli,” said city wildlife warden K. Geethanjali. The season started early this month but was not encouraging and the numbers were in a few hundreds, but after the first spell of heavy rain, about 5,000 migratory birds arrived and the number started fluctuating during heavy rain. But now with their arrival, the population has tripled and a steady 20,000 diversified birds are now roosting at the historic sanctuary, the warden said adding that desilting and de-weeding coupled with rain may help Vedanthangal to record a massive bird migration this season, the official hoped.
“Our volunteers have been watching Vedanthangal since October. Whenever there were heavy spells of rain, our volunteers recorded a dip in population of species like Pelican. During this period, our counting in Point Calimere in Nagapattinam and Vaduvoor bird sanctuary near Thanjavur surged, explained conservation scientist A. Kumaraguru, Biodiversity Conservation Foundation.
This clearly shows that whenever there was heavy rain in Chennai, their population dwindled and surged in areas like Thanjavur and Nagapattinam where the rainfall was relatively less. And now the
population of Whistling duck from Vaduvoor is reducing at the same time Karikkili is recording influx of the same species, he explained.