CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government issued a government order (GO) to establish the 17th bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu at Nanjarayan tank, in Tirupur district.
"Happy to announce that the government has notified the 17th Birds Sanctuary of Tamil Nadu at Nanjarayan in Tiruppur District. This fulfils the long pending request of bird lovers from across the State," said Chief Minister M K Stalin, in a tweet.
The announcement to establish the 17th bird sanctuary in Nanjarayan tank was made in the state Assembly by Forest Minister K Ramachandran on April 25, this year. The bird sanctuary will be established at the cost of Rs 7.5 crore.
Following the announcement, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden of the state sent a proposal to the state government to establish the bird sanctuary at an area of 125.86.5 hectares in Uthukuli and Tirupur north Taluks. The proposal was accepted by the state government and GO was issued.
Nanjarayan tank will be the second bird sanctuary to be established after DMK came to power. In December, the previous government announced the setting up of 16th bird sanctuary in Kazhuveli, in the Villupuram district, where works to establish the bird sanctuary are under way.
This brought an end to the long-drawn struggle by environmentalists, who are upbeat over the development. “Over the years, the number of migratory birds visiting Nanjarayan has come down drastically. Before 2015, more than 22,000 to 25,000 migratory birds from Western Europe, Central Asia and coastal birds from Canada and Siberia were spotted there during peak season from October to March. But their numbers have dwindled to just around 2,000 birds now,” said K Raveendran, bird educator, conservationist, Nature Society of Tirupur.
One of the major reasons behind such sharp decline in bird arrivals is the desilting and digging work undertaken in the tank in 2015. “The entire landscape of the tank, which was shallower in nature, changed after the desilting work. The change in climatic conditions could have also had its impact on bird arrivals. A total of 181 species of birds have been recorded in the tank so far,” he added.
“Efforts are under way to prepare a detailed project report on sprucing up the tank with an interpretation centre, watch tower and landscape. It will take some time,” said a Forest official.