Eco-sensitive zone of Thattekad Bird Sanctuary notified

Parts of Kuttampuzha, Keerampara villages to fall within zone

An extent of one kilometre around the boundary of Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary has been notified as its eco-sensitive zone (EZ).

The EZ, according to the draft notification published by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, will cover an area of 28.444 sq.km. Some parts of the Kuttampuzha and Keerampara villages will fall within the EZ of the sanctuary, according to the notification.

An area of 25.16 sq. km, lying on the northern bank of River Periyar, was declared as the bird sanctuary by the Government of Kerala in 1983, considering its ecological, faunal, floral, natural and zoological significance. The Thattekkad sanctuary is also the first bird sanctuary in Kerala and is considered a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers with a wide variety of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is also considered as one of the richest bird sanctuaries of the State, with the presence of 284 bird species recorded from there.

The area was previously part of the Kuttampuzha section of Kuttampuzha Forest Range under Malayattoor Forest Division. Currently, it is under the administrative jurisdiction of Idukki Wildlife Division.

Rare bird species such as three-toed forest Kingfisher, Ceylon frogmouth, crimson-throated Barbet, bee-eater, sunbird, and Malabar grey hornbill are seen in the sanctuary.

Thattekkad is on the foothills of the Western Ghats and is part of a large ecological unit comprising Malayattoor, Sholayar, Parambikulam hill ranges on the one side and Munnar, Eravikulam and Chinnar on the other side, which support diverse vegetation types from evergreen to scrub forests that enables birds in their seasonal migration, according to the notification.

The draft notification, which was published on September, 29, will be taken up for consideration after a period of 60 days. The public may send in comments and suggestions on the draft proposals within 60 days of the publication to the Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Indira Paryavaran Bhawan, Jorbagh Road, Aliganj, New Delhi-110 003, or to the e-mail address [email protected]

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