Pallikaranai wetland is a freshwater marsh in the city of Chennai, India.  Pallikaranai area is a reserve forest and currently falls under the purview of Forest department of Tambaram range. Essentially a freshwater swamp, it is surrounded by Velachery in the North, Medavakkam in the South, Kovilambakkam in the West and Okkiyam Thuraipakkam in the East. Further, due to its proximity to the OMR and GST, in terms of location, Pallikaranai offers the best of both worlds.

The marsh contains several rare or endangered and threatened species and acts as a forage and breeding ground for thousands of migratory birds from various places within and outside the country.

Resident bird species include purple swamphen, common moorhen, pheasant-tailed jacana, purple heron, black-winged stilt, common coot, spot-billed duck, spot-billed pelican, prinias, common kingfisher, pied kingfisher, pied crested cuckoo, white-breasted kingfisher and grey heron.

Raptors like shikra, black-winged kite, black kite, red-necked falcon, marsh harrier, Montague’s harrier and booted eagle can also be seen here.

During wintering months thousands of waders and migratory ducks fill the marsh, which becomes a paradise for bird watchers. Osprey, greater flamingo, northern pintail duck, northern shoveller, garganey teal, black-tailed godwit, pied avocet, common sandpiper, wood sandpiper and marsh sandpiper, whiskered tern, rosy starling, yellow wagtail, little stint, grey-headed lapwing, glossy ibis and black-headed ibis, ruff and greenshank all visit the Pallikaranai marsh.

Few birds from Pallikaranai wetland

Wikipedia Pallikaranai wetland link

Pallikaranai marsh has shrunk to a tenth of its size since 1965: Amicus Curiae – The Hindu Article

The Pallikaranai marshland, the only urban wetland of Chennai city, had miserably shrunk from its expanse of 5,500 hectares recorded in 1965 to just about 600 hectares in 2013 owing to large scale development of residential areas, Information Technology parks, institutions of higher education and related infrastructure, according to Senior Counsel P.S. Raman of Madras High Court.


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