The Society for Conservation of Nature, Tiruchi, has appealed to the State government to take steps to declare Mavadikulam near Ponmalaipatti in the city as a ‘conservation reserve’ as many bird species are found in the tank.
An initiative taken to revive the heavily silted up tank through a public initiative, which saw the participation of several voluntary organisations and later the district and civic authorities, last year had succeeded in desilting and cleaning up the tank to some extent. The tank spread over 143 acres but had been reduced a shallow water body over the years and also been heavily encroached upon.
With the availability of some water now, many water birds could be sighted at the tank. “We could find about 30 species of birds in the tank. I even sighted garganey ducks, a migratory bird from Europe, and several other local migratory birds,” said V.Sundararaju, former district forest officer and president, Society for Conservation of Nature, Tiruchi. Spot-billed pelicans, spoonbills, painted storks, black winged stilts, spot-billed ducks, purple heron, grey heron, egrets and white breasted kingfisher are among the birds that could be sighted at the tank, he said.
Apart from unrestricted cattle grazing, there is also some poaching going on. Besides, drainages continue to flow into the tank. If it was declared as a conservation reserve, a management committee could be formed for better management of the tank, Mr.Sundararaju said and added that he has already requested the Forest Department to moot a proposal in this regard.