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Location India, Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 78o 52.00' East  9o 22.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 2,541 ha
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Big Tank or Peria Kanmai (System Tank) (891 ha) and Sakkarakottai Kanmai (Non-system Tank) (1,650 ha) are twin wetlands of great importance for bird conservation, although they were initially built to provide irrigation and drinking water. Peria Kanmai is fed by the River Vaigai and Sakkarakottai Kanmai is rainfed. These wetlands are located 5 km north of the district headquarters at Ramanathapuram. The wetlands are rich in aquatic flora, especially Scirpus, Cyperus pygmaeus, Cyperus difformis and Cynodon dactylon. Ipomea carnea can be seen in dense stands on the periphery.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1  Near Threatened 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Coastline   -
Artificial - aquatic   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Cultivation of vegetables on the banks
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing

Acknowledgements Key contributors: S. Balachandran, S. S. Ramchandran Raja and V. Kannan.


Wetlands International (2002) Waterbirds Population Estimates: Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, the Netherlands.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Big Tank (Peria Kanmai) and Sakkarakotai Kanmai. Downloaded from on 18/09/2014

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife