CHENNAI: Setting a new precedent in documenting the local flora and fauna, VIT University has released a wildlife book based on the migratory birds found in Vellore district and the resident birds found on the varsity campus.
“The book is an eye-opener for bird watchers as not much documentation is done on nature studies. VIT will continue to fight climate change through conservation and green projects,” VIT Chancellor G Viswanathan said, demanding the VIT Nature club to explore the insect biodiversity and butterfly diversity found in the VIT lake and adjacent areas of Vellore.
“The VIT’s hotspot region is VIT Lake, which acts as a crucial water reservoir and helps to maintain the floral and faunal biodiversity in this ecosystem and a landscape of 359 acres was documented for more than five years to ascertain the migratory and resident aquatic birds of VIT, ” said conservation scientist A Kumaraguru of Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Tiruchy. “Between 2016 and 2020, over 119 land (Terrestrial) and waterbirds (Aquatic) species were documented in and around the lake and throughout the VIT,” he said.
Vellore is one of the hottest districts in Tamil Nadu with an average summer temperature of 30 degrees Celcius for the past few years and recording the birds in Vellore will give crucial data related to climate change and birdlife, he added.
In the book Birds of VIT, the most common insect of the ecosystem is the Predatory Red Bug (Antilochus Coquebertii). With the specific feeding mechanism of dependence on insects, Common Hawk Cuckoo, Large Hawk-Cuckoo, Lesser Cuckoo, Shirkeer malkoha, Asian Koel, Indian Cuckoo and Greater Coucal are the species of birds regulating the insect population.
“As the first step, the carrying capacity of the ecosystem is evident with about 119 birds sighted in the campus,” said professor Sai Saraswathi of VIT Nature Club.