(Last Updated on : 06/09/2012)
Pulicat lake bird sanctuary is a saline backwater lake located in Chengalpattu district in Tamil Nadu
. It is spread over an area of 481 sq Kms. It is the second largest brackish water lagoon in India after Chilka Lake
. The Pulicat sanctuary is drained by Arni River. At the southern end is an opening on to Bay of Bengal
through a shallow mouth of 200 m in width.
Geography of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary has an area of 321 Sq kms with 108 sq kms of National Park area. It lies within 11o 30' N to 11o 42' N and 76o 30' E to 76o 45' E. It is located at an altitude ranging from 100' MSL to 1200' MSL. The sanctuary received an annual rainfall between 800-200mm. the temperature here varies from 14 degree Centigrade to 33 degree centigrade C.
Fauna of Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary
The Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary houses many animals and birds. Pulicat Lake is idyllic habitat for varied life forms as here the fresh water mixes with the sea water. The lake houses 160 species of fish, 25 species of polychaete worms, 12 species of prawn, 19 species of mollusk and 100 species of birds. Besides these there are a number of other aquatic flora and fauna. Tourists can see here the beautiful Flamingo, a tall gaunt, white coloured bird adorned with pink colour on the wings. It has pink beak and legs. It can be seen feeding in shallow water. The squat, large billed grey pelican with gular pouch and a number of ducks are commonly seen. Flocks of sea gulls and terns hovering in the sky are a spectacular sight to see. Besides, there are a number of waterside birds and waders such as curlews, stilts, plovers, sand pipers, lapwings and redshank. Egrets, herons, kites etc. are some other birds that can be seen here. The lake is also houses crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, snails, fish worms, insects, spiders, sponges, anemone, prawns, plankton and so on. These also include rare endemic species like gilled leech, an unidentified bloodred fish, etc.
The best time to visit the sanctuary is during the months of November-February. Forest Rest Houses are available for tourists. The nearest city Chennai
is located almost 90 km away. The nearest town Ponnri is 19 km away. Pulicat Lake Bird Sanctuary is well connected with all modes of transport. There are bus services from Chennai.