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Chairman: Dr. Krishna M.B.

Rapporteur: Ajay Narendra

Biodiversity and Ecology of Two Endangered 
Wetlands of Tamil Nadu Coast Kaluveli and Osuteri

Manimekhalan M., Yogan and T.R.K., Rajan V., Amruth M., Ilangovan K. and Sharma C.B.S.R.


Water storage systems play an important role in the coastal management. Kaluveli and Ousteri are the major reservoirs along the East Coast of Tamilnadu and Pondicherry. Ecological status of these were studied to obtain the base line data on water, soil, flora, fauna and their interactions with local villages as a part of our ongoing work on the irrigation tanks of Tamil Nadu. Inferences were drawn from these so as to understand the system and help in maintaining it on a long-term basis. A combination of survey and analytical methods were employed in pursuit of our objectives.

Kaluveli is a fresh water swampy wetland of about 70 The soil is sandy-loamy or clayey. Water flows in from the local catchment. It is connected to the north to the Yedayanthittu estuary. The biodiversity is as follows: Plants 163 species; Butterflies: 19; Fishes 11; Amphibians: 6; Reptiles: 16; Birds: 120; Mammals: 15. The 14 villages continuously encroach over this wetland for agriculture. The few aquaculture farms functioning now are expected to increase and kill the wetland soon.  

Ousteri is an ancient tank of about 15 The soil is clayey. Water inflow is through Suthukeny channel from the Sankaraparani river and the local catchment. The biodiversity is as follows: Plants 101 species; Butterflies: 18; Fishes 10; Amphibians: 4; Reptiles: 20; Birds: 90; Mammals: 11. The major threats are Pollution, Eutrophication and Encroachment for agriculture.

Since human settlements are intimately connected to the storage systems, developmental activities will continue ceaselessly. Therefore conservation has to go simultaneously. The present experience underscores the urgent need of Census and Valuing of all Coastal Tanks preferably employing a Rapid Evaluation System.

Address: Salim Ali School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences
Pondicherry University, Pondicherry 605 014, India.