History of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
Pichavaram Mangrove Forest did not gain much prominence during the pre independence era. In 1882, a map of the region was published by Cuddalore district authorities that reached the public subsequently. The place was explored during the later part of the 20th century by Thirumalairaj and Venkatesan is credited for listing the floral communities of the region in association with the environmental factors. French institute in Puducherry has also played a crucial role in exploring Pichavaram Mangrove Forest and has several publications which narrate the natural wealth of these mangroves. The Centre of Advanced Study in Marine Biology has also been involved in the research of these forests. Mangrove Genetic Resource Conservation Centre has been established here by M. S. Swaminathan Research Foundation during the 90s encompassing 50 hectare forest area.
Description of Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
There are almost 40 islands in the Pichavaram mangrove forest interspersing a vast expanse of water. The biotope consists of species like Avicennia and Rhizophora and also supports the existence of rare varieties of economically important shell and fin fishes. The forest is also rich in avifauna and has about 177 species of birds, which includes pelicans, cormorants, egrets, spoonbills, snipes and storks. There is an influx of birds between the months of November and January and the availability of different habitat types such as channels, creeks, gullies, mud flats and sand flats and adjacent sea shore offers ideal habitat for different species of birds and animals.
Visiting Information on Pichavaram Mangrove Forest
The nearest railway station from Pichavaram is located at Chidambaram at a distance of about 20 km. However, tourists will need to travel via boat from the last road near Pichavaram to reach its mangrove forest. The Puducherry Airport is the closest at a distance of 75 km.
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