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Location India, Tamil Nadu
Central coordinates 79o 0.00' East  11o 25.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 650 ha
Altitude 72 - 320m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description The 650 ha Wellington Reservoir is located in Keelacheruvai village, about 3.2 km from Tittagudy town in Cuddalore district. The Reservoir is locally called Yemaneri. It receives water mainly from the Vellar river, which orginates in Salem district and flows from west to east. The tank also receives water from Tholudur regulator through a supply channel, and drainage from catchment areas during the northeast monsoons. The Reservoir has a catchment area of 129 sq. km. This reservoir supports 10,000 ha of agricultural fields for irrigation. The length of the bund is about 4 km. The maximum depth of the lake is about 9 m. The waterbody has rich benthic flora and other hydrophytes. The Forest Department has planted Acacia nilotica especially in the northern part of the Reservoir. Besides the plantation, there are dense stands of old Acacia nilotica and Prosopis chilensis.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: The Wellington Reservoir qualifies as an IBA on two accounts. Firstly, about 100-150 threatened Spot-billed Pelicans Pelecanus philippensis were seen, that is 6.5% of the known biogeographic population at the 1% threshold level of 40 birds as determined by Wetlands International (2002). Secondly, there is known to be a large congregation of waterfowl, sometimes more than 20,000 in all. The dominant avian species of the lake are duck species, Northern Pintail Anas acuta, Northern Shoveller A. clypeata Red-crested Pochard Rhodonessa rufina and Lesser Whistling Duck Dendrocygna javanica. According to a recent study, there are about 70 bird species in this IBA, of which 67% are water birds (Meganathan 2002).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: There is not much wildlife as the reservoir is surrounded by agricultural fields and human habitations, but the fish fauna is obviously quite rich. The Fisheries Department has introduced commercial fish such as Catla catla, Labeo rohita and Cirrhinus mrigala, that also serves as good food for the piscivorous birds.

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   

Habitats

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

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
agriculture -
Notes: Agriculture
fisheries/aquaculture -
Notes: Fishing
water management -
Notes: Water management

Acknowledgements Key contributor: V. Kannan.

References 

Meganathan, T. (2002) A survey of avian diversity in selected Inland Lakes of Cuddalore, Thiruvarur, Nagai, and Thanjavur districts of Tamil Nadu, Southern India and an assessment of threats to their conservation including socio-economic factors in the surrounding villages. M.Sc. Dissertation, A.V.C. College (Autonomous), Mannampandal, Mayiladuthurai.

Wetlands International (2002) Waterbird 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: Wellington Reservoir. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 20/12/2014

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