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Point Calimere Sanctuary : Tamil Nadu

POINT CALIMERE SANCTUARY TAMIL NADU – Ramsar Site

Established in 1967 with a sole purpose of protecting and conserving the endangered Black Antelopes, Point Calimere Sanctuary is amongst the most-loved travel destinations in Nagapattinam district of state Tamil Nadu.This 21.47 sq km long protected area, along with Palk Strait where it meets the Bay of Bengal at Point Calimere, witnesses a tremendous growth of mangroves and tidal swamps because of the coastal properties.

• Chital

o Macaque

o Black Buck

o Bonnet

o Wild Boar

are some of the wild creatures

Whereas, some exotic birds like teals, girls, plover, terns, stilts, and more. Flamingos, Avocet, and Waterfowl are some migratory birds for which the sanctuary is also known for. Moreover, the dancing show of friendly Dolphins gives some worth visiting joy to visitors. Along with that, here, you can also see the unhurried turtles walking near the shore.

MUTHUPET MANGROOVES AND LAGOON

Muthupet a town in Tiruvarur District, located between Thiruthuraipoondi and Pattukkottai, is nearly around 360km away. The town lies adjacent to the Bay of Bengal and is in the southernmost part of the Cauvery delta.

This town is bounded by two rivers: Korayar and Pamaniyar, to the east and the west respectively. The rivers Koriayar and Pamaniyar join near Muthupet, and there is this lagoon.This lagoon covers an area of approximately 6,803.01 ha of which only 4% is occupied by well-grown mangroves.

The rivers Paminiyar, Koraiyar, Kilaithankiyar Marakkakoraiyar and other tributaries of the river Cauvery flow through Muthupet and adjacent villages. At the tail end, they form a lagoon before meeting the sea. The lagoon is rich in Fish and is an ideal place for fishing, pearl hunting and bird hunting. It is well known for its fishing industries such as finfish (koduva), shrimp and crab. The great Vedaranyam swamp is one of the largest coastal wetlands found in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is located in the southernmost end of the Cauvery delta, extending from Adirampattinam in the west (Thanjavur District) to Point Calimere in the east (Nagapattinam District). The Muthupet mangrove wetland is a part of the Great Vedaranyam swamp.  The marshy land in Muthupettai is the main tourist attraction in this area. This scenic spot is always evergreen with mangrove forest trees, in a sprawling area of 120 square kms.

Along with the deep-rooted mangrove trees the other kinds of trees like Thandal, Thillai, Narikanthal and Neermulli also grow and add to the beauty of the lagoon. This lagoon has seventy-three colourful varieties of fish. A wooden pathway 162 metres long has been built for the benefit of the tourists to enjoying the mangrove forest. During the monsoon season November-January, a large number of birds migrate here from all over the World. Eighty different species of migratory birds congregate here having travelled a long distances. The birds come from Siberia, Russia, Iran, and Europe. Among them the notable species of birds are the heron, egret, flamingo, the painted stork, pelican, teal and tern. The migration of these birds is an extraordinary sight that adds to the beauty of this district. One can visit the mangroves from Thanjavur (65 kms), Thiruvarur (60 kms), and Nagapattinam (70 kms). The best time to visit Muthupettai is from November to February.

GULF OF MANNAR

The Gulf of Mannar, the first Marine Biosphere Reserve (GOMMBR) in the South and South East Asia, running down south from Rameswaram to Kanyakumari.This Marine Biosphere Reserve encompasses a chain of 21 islands (2 islands already submerged) and adjoining coral reefs off the coasts of the Ramanathapuram and the Tuticorin districts forming the core zone; the Marine National Park and the buffer zone includes the surrounding seascape and a 10 km strip of the coastal landscape covering a total area of 10,500 Km2 , in the Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts with a long coastline of 364.9 Km.

The importance of the Gulf of Mannar region dates back to the 2nd Century AD because of its highly productive pearl oyster banks and other religious significance. In India, the Gulf of Mannar region in Tamil Nadu is one of the four major coral reef areas and the others are Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Lakhsadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands.

ECOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Spit

Among the various depositional landform features encountered, the formation of spit is a significant feature of recent age. South of Tuticorin coastal area two spit formations have been observed. It appears to have been built by the sediments brought by long shore current during southwest monsoon. The southwestern shore of Rameswaram has a tongue shaped spit.

Beach Ridges

Beach ridges are moderately undulating terrain features of marine depositional type, formed during Pleistocene to Recent age, in the plains of Gulf of Mannar coast. The coastal areas between Mandapam and East of Vaippar River are covered by well-developed beach ridges.There are twelve beach ridges observed in the region. On the basis of the nature and dispositions of beach ridges, it can be grouped into:

1. Beach ridges south of Vaigai River

2. Beach ridges between Kotangudi River and Palar River

3. Beach ridges between Palar River and Gundar River system

4. Beach ridges between Gundar River and Vaippar River

5. Beach ridges south of Vaippar River

Swales and backwater zone

Swales and backwater zones are seen between coastal plains of Mandapam and Kottakkarai River; they are branched and arranged in series of linear patterns. They are situated almost parallel to the present coastline. Prominent backwater zones have been observed in the coastal plains between Valinockkam and Vaippar River, Mandapam and Southeast of Tiryppullani near Tinaikkulam. These are divided in to two parts by beach ridges.The coastal areas between Mandapam and Tinaikkulam, Valinokkam and Krishnapuram and North of Terku Mukkaiyur and Tukukankulam consist of prominent and wide backwater zones.These three backwater zones are connected by small, linear and narrow swales to the sea by means of few creeks, which supply water from sea to backwater channels during high tide. The basin bed is composed of silt and mud. The adjacent low lying area, as a part of swale zone is used at present for salt production.

Mud Flat

The mudflats are observed near Vaippar River mouth, around Valinokkam backwater lagoon, Kallar River mouth and Gundar River mouth.

Offshore islands and coral reefs A chain of 21 low islands has been observed along the offshore region of Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park.It extends from south of Rameswaram to Tuticorin. All islands are made up of a calcareous framework of dead reef and sand.There are 117 coral species identified so far in Gulf of Mannar. They belong to 40 genera and 14 families. Of this, 106 species grouped in 30 genera are hermatypic and 11 species grouped in 10 genera are ahermatypic. The conspicuous species belong to the families Acroporidae, Poritidae and Faviidae.Reefs in Gulf of Mannar are developed around a chain of 21 uninhabited islands that lie along the 140 km stretch between Tuticorin and Rameswaram of Tamilnadu, Southeast coast of India. Different types of reef forms such as shore, platform, patch and fringing type are observed in the Gulf of Mannar.

Wave Cut platform

Wave cut platforms are common in the coast of Mandapam, Ramaswamimadam, Pudumatam, Valinokkam etc. At Pudumadam coast, hard and tough sandstone platform occupies the intertidal zone. South of Valinokkam coast very extensive wave cut platform has been observed and erosional features are widely seen.