Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Thiruvallur

Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary, Thiruvallur
Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is a famous 481 km² located in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and Protected area in Thiruvallur District of Tamil Nadu state in South IndiaPulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is one of the most famous Bird Sanctuaries in India. This Sanctuary is a haven for bird lovers and Ornithologists. Stretching across 481 square kilometers, Pulicat is the second largest brackish water ecosystem in India after lake Chilika of Orissa.

Pulicat is an extremely sensitive area environmentally and is under threat of disappearing due to excessive siltation. Environmentalists are currently in the process of getting Pulicat declared as a site under the Ramsar Convention. The atmosphere at this Sanctuary defines tranquility. International name: Pulicat Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, IBA Code: IN261, Criteria: A1, A4iii.

The Arani River at the southern tip, the Kalangi River from the northwest, the Swarnamukhi River at the northern end and the Buckingham canal brings in the city’s drainage water feed this water lagoon. The Pulicat sanctuary is drained by Arni River while the Buckingham canal brings in the city’s drainage water. At the southern end is an opening on to Bay of Bengal through a shallow mouth of 200 m in width. The rest of the lake is closed by a sand bar running parallel to the Bay of Bengal in the form of the Sriharikota Island. 

The sanctuary lies exactly within 11°30’N to 11°42’N and 76°30’E to 76°45’E. 327.33 km² is managed by the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department and 153.67 km² is managed by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. 108 km² is National Park area. The average rainfall of this region ranges between 800 and 2000 mm. The temperature of this sanctuary lies between 14°C and 33°C. The altitude of this sanctuary ranges between 100’ MSL and 1200’ MSL. There is greatest threat to this region as there is a chance for this lake to disappear in next 100 years because of silt formation. Both private Non-government organization and Indian government are doing their best to halt the destruction of this lake.

Pulicat Lake
For brief details, please refer below link;
Flora & Fauna
The lagoon which is about a million years old separated from Bay of Bengal by a spit of land. During the monsoon period, the lake is filled by nutritious water and large numbers microscopic plant grows abundantly in the lake which provide food for invertebrates and fish. As a result, large amount of wetland birds is attracted to the lake. But nowadays, the lake faces many environmental issues such as over-fishing, agricultural chemicals etc. Due to this, GNF (Global Nature Fund) nominates Lake Pulicat as 'Threatened Lake of the Year 2010'.

The sanctuary is most noted for the many greater flamingos seen here. The biodiversity of this lake attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. The lagoon is an important habitat for 160 species of fish, 25 species of polychaetes worms, 12 species of prawn, 19 species of mollusk, 100 species of birds both terrestrial and aquatic birds and small mammals and reptiles. Migratory birds mainly from Central Asia and Eastern Europe, visits this sanctuary.

The sanctuary mainly attracts Greater and Lesser Flamingoes, Grey Pelican, Painted Stork, Grey Heron, Ducks, Marbled teal, Terns, Egrets, Kites and Partridges, Quails, Sea Gulls and a number of Waders such as curlews, stilts, plovers, sand pipers, lapwings and redshank. During the winter season, the sanctuary attracts up to 15,000 flamingoes. Some of the commonest wetland birds include Shoveler, Garganey, Gadwall, Marsh Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godvit.

Some of the resident birds listed are Grey Pelican and Open-billed Stork. The lake is also home to crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, snails, fish worms, insects, spiders, sponges, anemone, prawns, plankton and so on. The sanctuary provides eco-tourism on this lake by traditional punting or sailing in a flat-bottom boat rather than by a motorized boat.

The Sanctuary offers activities such as trekking through the exotic forestation, Bird safari and bird watching, Aquatic sports, etc. The Sanctuary supports eco-tourism on the lake by allowing traditional punting or sailing in a flat-bottom boat and not by a motorized boat. Bird watching in the Sanctuary is an enriching experience especially just before the sunsets when the birds fly away to perch, to observe their varied hues against the evening sky is the epitome of nature’s beauty.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is between October to March. The temperature is mild and pleasant and makes travelling to the area easy. This is also the best time to observe the migratory birds and especially the flamingos. Seeing the Flamingos in the wetland is a once in a lifetime experience. There are forest rest houses available in the form of 2 suites for accommodation.
1.    Entry Fee: Regular Ferry across the Lake, to the Lighthouse – Rs 2.00 per person.
2.    Entry Fee: Exclusive boat for the day – Rs 400/- per day.
3.    Timings: 6:00 AM – 6:00 PM
4.    Accommodation: Forest Rest House with 2 suites available for stay or can stay either at Chennai / Thirupathi / Sullurpeta.
Wildlife Warden, 
259 Anna Salai, DMS compound, 3rd Floor
Teynampet, Chennai 600 006 
Phone: +91 44 2432 1139
The Sanctuary is located at about 500 meters from Pazhaverkadu Bus Stop, 1.5 Kms from Pulicat Bus Stand, 9 Kms from Thirupalaivanam, 10 Kms from Karungali, 20 Kms from Ponneri, 20 Kms from Ponneri Railway Station, 74 Kms from Thiruvallur, 70 Kms from Chennai Airport and 55 Kms from Chennai. Town buses are frequently available from Ponneri and Red Hills.