ANNUAL FLAMINGO FESTIVAL
Context: The annual flamingo festival in Nellore district is being held in the first week of January with the Flamingo birds arriving in large numbers on their annual sojourn to Pulicat Lake.
ABOUT THE FLAMINGO FESTIVAL
- District authorities, are planning to conduct the festival in the first week of January.
- District authorities; say they expect the number of birds to be much higher than usual due to copious rains this year.
- Birds like Black-tailed godwit and Kentish plover, which are rare visitors, have also arrived at the lake this time.
- A variety of aquatic and terrestrial birds including painted storks, large and little egrets, grey pelicans, grey herons, and water birds like northern pintails, black-winged stilts, northern shovellers, common teal, seagulls, terns, sandpipers, and common coots have come in large numbers this time.
- About 75 bird species visit the sanctuary, of which 30 bird species are migratory. The other feeding migrants that can be spotted are pelicans, painted storks, open-billed storks, grey herons, cormorants, white ibises, spoonbills, egrets, reef herons, and spot billed ducks.
- Four venues Sullurpeta, B.V. Palem, Atakanithippa and Nelapattu have been selected for holding various cultural programmes and stepping up awareness on the brackish water ecosystem during the festival.
- The department has arranged for binoculars for nature lovers to view the birds.
- Educative films on snakes and birds will also be screened as part of the festival.
- Pulicat Lagoonis the second largest brackish water lagoon in India, after Chilika Lake.
- Pulicat Lagoon is considered to be the second largest brackish water body in India measuring 759 square kilometers (293 sq mi).
- The Lagoon is one of the three important wetlands to attract North-East Monsoon rain clouds during October to December season to Tamil Nadu.
- The lagoon was cut across in the middle by the Sriharikota Link Road, which divided the water body into lake and marshy land.
- The lake encompasses the Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary.
- The barrier islandof Sriharikota separates the lake from the Bay of Bengal and is home to the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.
- Major part of the lake comes under Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
BIODIVERSITY AT THE LAKE
- A wide variety of birds like egrets, terns, ducks and waders have also make it to the lake in good numbers.
- The rich flora at the lake also makes it a botanist’s delight.
- Invertebrates like prawns, planktons, coelenterates, annelids, molluscs and echinoderms thrive here as well.
- Reptiles like monitor lizard, calotes, cobra, Russel’s viper, and krait, and schools of fish like sable fish, sargin fish, white, black and silver pomfret are also found.
- The lake supports a rich biodiversity and high biomass of fishes, prawns, crustaceans, coelenterates and planktons
- Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is a Ramsar sites wetland sanctuary in India.