The Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary
The Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary along with the adjoining Great Vedharanyam
swamp in Tamil Nadu is one the best wintering habitats for waterbirds, especially
the migrant shorebirds from their artic breeding grounds. The area also provides
wintering grounds for thousands of terns and gulls migrating from Europe and West
Asia, flamingos from Iran Caspian Sea and Rann of Kutchh. Particularly noted for
its flamingos, also for herons, teals, curlews and plovers and black buck and wild
In the early 1980s the waterbird population was over 1 million birds. Under the
stewardship of late Dr Sálim Ali, bird migration studies were carried out, where
over 2 lakh birds at Pont Calimere were ringed till 1990. The birds ringed in Point
Calimere were reported from 14 countries, revealing its linkages with other wetlands
across the country. Presently, over 70% decline in the waterbird population is recorded.
This decline is attributed mostly to human activities, climatic changes and poaching.
Now the population fluctuates between 1 lakh to 2 lakh only.
The BNHS will be establishing a permanent Bird Migration Centre with the assistance
from the Chemplast Sanmar Company based at Point Calimere to undertake habitat restoration
measures. The Centre will undertake research, monitoring of waterbirds and impart
training on monitoring techniques for bird populations, wetland ecology, management
and habitat restoration. It will also give emphasis to nature education and awareness
How to get there:
By Air: Tiruchchirapalli 200km
By Rail: Point Calimere 0.5km
Best time to visit:
November - March