(Last Updated on : 19/03/2014)
Atapaka Bird Sanctuary, situated on the Kolleru Lake
in the Indian state Andhra Pradesh
, is the home to a vast repertoire of birds. It is especially known for sheltering Pelicans. It spans over an area of 673 square kilometres with wet land marsh habitat extending across two districts namely West Godavari
. Atapaka Bird Sanctuary falls under Kaikalur forest range.
Kolleru Lake, which hosts Atapaka Bird Sanctuary, has been declared as a Ramsar site. The average depth of the lake is about four metres. However the lake is prone to severe reduction in the total volume of water during summers. For maintaining steady level of water in the lake and the protection of aquatic life in it, a nearby source channels water into the lake.
Fauna of Atapaka Bird Sanctuary
It has been estimated that Atapaka Bird Sanctuary is visited by about 2, 00,000 birds of diverse species. The common species that can be witnessed in the sanctuary include Cormorants, Common Redshanks, Pied Avocets, Black-winged Stilts, Red-crested Pochards, Northern Shovelers, Northern Pintails, Teals, Black-headed Ibises, Glossy Ibises, Painted Storks
and Asian Openbills. Beautiful migratory birds can also be seen in the sanctuary hailing from countries like Philippines, Egypt, Siberia and Australia between the months October and March. During this time these birds can be seen forming couples and making nests on the trees standing on a small island in the lake. The storks are limited in number as compared to the Pilicans and select specific trees such as Black Tumma, Palmyra
and Singapore Cherry for spending a safe and breeding season. A considerable number of Painted Storks sometimes also find temporary refuge outside the sanctuary. Amid the vibrant avian species a pair of male and female White Pelicans forms special attractions of the sanctuary. These migratory birds visit the lake every year. Also known as American White Pelican or Rosy Pelican, these are regarded as the 'sacred couple' of the lake.
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