THENI: The first-ever bird survey in Megamalai wildlilfe sanctuary in Theni district recorded 198 bird species, including 26 migrant bird species. The sanctuary- which is relatively new compared to other sanctuaries in the region- shares its boundaries with Srivilliputhur grizzled squirrel sanctuary and Periyar tiger reserve in Kerala. It is rich in flora and fauna, ranging from shrub forests to evergreen forests and also hosts a variety of birds, mammals, reptiles and butterflies.
Between November 15 and 16, expert bird watchers had carried out a bird survey in the sanctuary, setting up 14 camp sites. Teams of bird watchers, each consisting of an expert and an assistant, covered the whole sanctuary. They recorded a total of 172 resident species. Among these, the red-whiskered bulbul was spotted in all the 14 camp areas, followed closely by the grey jungle fowl which was seen in 12 sites and the spotted dove, southern coucal, white-cheeked barbet and purple-rumped sunbird in 11 areas.