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Location India, Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 79o 51.00' East  10o 18.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4i, A4iii
Area 37,733 ha
Altitude 0 - 3m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary is situated on a low promontory on the Coromandel coast in Nagapattinam district. The Great Vedaranyam Swamp stretches for about 48 km from east to west, parallel to the Palk Strait and separated by a sand bank. Its dimensions are about 10 km from north to south, and it is broadest in the east, narrowing to about 8 km in the central part and 6 km at the western end. It is about 11 km from Vedaranyam town. There are only two villages, namely Kodikkarai and Kodikkadu. A motorable road connects the Sanctuary with the nearest town. The control of the area passed from the Revenue Department to the Forest Department in 1907. The forest of Point Calimere Sanctuary has an area of 1,729 ha, comprising of the Kodikkadu Reserve Forest and Kodikkadu Extension Reserve Forest. During 1988, it was proposed to declare Point Calimere Sanctuary as Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary and Bird Sanctuary with a total area of 37,733 ha, including the Great Vedaranyam Swamp and Talaignayar Reserve. This IBA comprises of mangrove forest and lagoon in the Muthupet-Adirampattinam, and mudflats interspersed with numerous islets in the Siruthalaikkadu-Kodikkarai area. The IBA also encompasses Tropical Dry Evergreen Forest and low-lying coastal grazing lands. Five freshwater channels empty into the Swamp, most of which have running water only during the monsoon. The Korayar river confluences with the Mullipallam lagoon in the west. The Swamp is demarcated to the north by an artificial bund. There is a 30 m wide belt of mangrove vegetation. The area has variable rainfall regimes, and is not typical of tropical monsoon climate. The northeast monsoon is the main contributor to this area, though some rainfall occurs during the southwest monsoon. The winds are dry, but cause low-pressure depressions in the Bay of Bengal, resulting in cyclonic storms on the mainland (Daniel and Rao 1988-1991).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Garganey Spatula querquedula 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus 2004  present  A4i  Least Concern 
Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis resident  2004  present  A1, A4i  Near Threatened 
Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Spotted Greenshank Tringa guttifer winter  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds unknown  2004  20,000 individuals  unknown  A4iii   

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Point Calimere Sanctuary 17,260 protected area contained by site 17,260  
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 38,500 protected area contains site 37,733  

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Dry evergreen forest (tropical); Mangrove forest (tropical)  major
Coastline Estuarine waters; Intertidal mud, sand & salt flats; Lagoons; Sand dunes & beaches  major
Artificial - terrestrial   minor
Wetlands (inland) Coastal lagoons; Intertidal mud, sand or salt flats  major

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
other -
Notes: Medicinal plant collection

Acknowledgements Key contributors: V. Kannan and Ranjit Manakadan.

References 

Ali, S. (1963) Point Calimere as a refuge for wintering shorebirds. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 60 458-460.

Daniel, J. C. and Rao, Y. N. (1988-1991) Ecology of Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary (An Endangered ecosystem). Final report. Bombay Natural History Society, Bombay.

Hussian, S. A. (1976) Occurrence of the Broadtailed Grass Warbler [Schoenicola platyura (Jerdon)] on the Coromandal coast. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 73: 400-401.

Manakadan, R. (1992) Ecology of waterbirds of Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary with special reference to impact of salt works. Ph.D. Thesis. Mumbai University, Mumbai.

Sugathan, R. (1982) Some interesting aspects of the avifauna of the Point Calimere, Thanjavur district, Tamil Nadu, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.79: 567-575.

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: Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 22/08/2014

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