Kaliveli Wetlands- First Declaration for converting it into Bird Sanctuary

Recently, the Villupuram district administration in Tamil Nadu has issued the first declaration under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The declaration was issued in a bid to declare Kaliveli wetlands as a bird sanctuary.

Key Facts

  • This decision is highly appreciated by the Forest Department officials and conservationists since it will boost their efforts to protect the wetland which is home for diverse flora and fauna.
  • The first declaration was issued under the Section 18 of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

The Kaliveli wetlands

  • The Kaliveli Wetlands is the second-largest brackish water lake in South India. The first largest is the Pulicat lake.
  • The wetland is ecologically important.
  • It is located near to the Marakkanam on the East Coast Road of the Kaliveli Lake.
  • The wetland is spread over an area of 670 sq.km.
  • The Kaliveli lake is connected to the Bay of Bengal through the Uppukalli Creek and the Edayanthittu sanctuary.
  • Southern part of the wetland was declared a reserved land in the year 2001.

Why it is being converted to bird sanctuary?

As per the 2004 report by the Indian Bird Conservation Network and Bird Life International, the Kaliveli wetlands supports around 20,000 birds every year. The lake also works as a feeding ground for long-distance migrants who migrates from the cold subarctic Central Asia and Siberia. Some of the migratory birds include Black-tailed Godwits, White Stork, Eurasian Curlew, Ruff and Dublin. This is why, there is a demand to covert the wetlands into a bird sanctuary.

Significance

  1. The declaration will ensure that no construction take place in the surroundings.
  2. The declaration will help in maintaining the natural biosphere and biodiversity of the area.
  3. It will also create jobs for the local residents through eco-tourism.
  4. Further, the wetlands have large area that will help in recharging the ground water table.

What are the Challenges?

Creation of check-dam downstream could impact the water levels and salinity in the wetlands. Further, the Creation of the check-dam will have negative impact on the plan of creating a fishing harbour in the estuary of the lagoon system.

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