Since I joined ATREE in 2009, I wanted to visit our field station in KMTR. As a volunteer, the three day water-bird census organized by ACCC not only gave me that opportunity but also helped me to hone my birding skills.
While I knew the existence of many man-made water tanks in the relatively drier parts of Tamil Nadu, the census allowed me to actually visit some of them. What came as a surprise was to see how well these tanks were inter-connected through a network of channels to ensure constant water supply to the villages most part the year without any major conflicts!
There were many threatened birds we saw notable among which were: spot billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala), lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus), and black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus). Some of the common birds seen were cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) seen in thousand numbers in just two hours time at one of the tanks, pheasant tailed jacana (Hydrophasianus chirurgus) and spot-billed duck (Anas poecilorhynchus). But sighting yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) was my most exciting & special birding moment!!
Since these tanks are amidst human dominated landscape, their conservation for future becomes important. Declaring few of these tanks as Community Reserves, a category introduced under the 2002 amendment of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 might potentially hold the key to conserve them with active local communities' participation.
Volume 5, Issue 1
Editor: Allwin Jesudasan
Associate editor: Rajkamal Goswami
Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, M. Soubadra Devy, T. Ganesh
Design and presentation: Kiran Salegame
A S H O K A T R U S T F O R R E S E A R C H I N E C O L O G Y A N D T H E E N V I R O N M E N T
Conservation of water birds with local communities
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