PMK President Urges Protection of Migratory Bird Habitats on East Coast Road

On World Migratory Bird Day, PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss urged the Tamil Nadu government to declare the East Coast Road region a protected zone for migratory birds. The region is a vital resting place for numerous species traveling from northern Europe and Russia towards South Asia.

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Bijay Laxmi
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PMK President Urges Protection of Migratory Bird Habitats on East Coast Road

PMK President Urges Protection of Migratory Bird Habitats on East Coast Road

On World Migratory Bird Day, observed on May 11, 2024, PMK president Anbumani Ramadoss called upon the Tamil Nadu government to declare the East Coast Road region as a protected zone for migratory birds. This region, which includes critical habitats like Pallikaranai marsh and Kelambakkam backwaters, is a vital resting place for numerous migratory bird species traveling from northern Europe and Russia towards South Asia.

Why this matters: The protection of migratory bird habitats is crucial for maintaining ecosystem balance and biodiversity, as these birds play a vital role in pollination, seed dispersal, and pest control. Failure to address habitat destruction and pollution could have devastating consequences for the entire ecosystem, including human populations that depend on these habitats for livelihood and sustenance.

Despite facing threats from habitat destruction and pollution, the East Coast Road region continues to attract a higher number of migratory birds each year. Species such as the Eurasian Eagle Owl, Pied Avocet, and Flamingos travel from as far as 10,000 kilometers to reach these crucial stopover sites.

Anbumani Ramadoss urged the government to take immediate measures to protect the migratory birds and their habitats. His recommendations included officially announcing the region as a protected zone, banning disruptive activities like helicopter tours, celebrations, and high decibel events, and implementing regulations similar to those in place at the Vedanthangal bird sanctuary.

The East Coast Road region is part of the Central Asian Flyway, a critical migratory route for birds. The water bodies and backwaters along the East Coast Road, including areas like Pallikaranai, Muttukadu, Kovalam, and Kelambakkam, provide essential habitats for a diverse array of bird species. These include the Pied Kingfisher, Spot-billed Pelicans, Cormorants, Common Sandpipers, Pond Herons, Plovers, and Terns.

World Migratory Bird Day2024 is themed "Protect Insects, Protect Birds," emphasizing the crucial role insects play in the survival of migratory birds. As Anbumani Ramadoss pointed out, the alarming decline in insect populations due to factors like industrial agriculture, deforestation, light pollution, pesticide overuse, and climate change poses a significant threat to the birds that rely on them as a vital food source during their annual journeys.

The United Nations highlighted the interconnectedness of migratory birds, ecosystems, and people across nations, stating, "Migratory birds connect not only ecosystems but also people and nations. We all have a responsibility to ensure the diverse habitats migratory birds transit are protected." World Migratory Bird Day serves as a platform to educate the public about the importance of conserving migratory bird species and their habitats through events like birdwatching excursions, educational workshops, seminars, art exhibitions, and conservation initiatives.

As the Tamil Nadu government considers Anbumani Ramadoss's appeal, the fate of the migratory birds that rely on the East Coast Road region hangs in the balance. Declaring this area as a protected zone would be a significant step towards safeguarding the habitats of these magnificent creatures and ensuring their survival for generations to come.