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Tamil Nadu Wetlands Mission


Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary or Kunthankulam is an important human-made wetland in the state of Tamil Nadu. Spreading over 72.04 ha, the wetland is located near Koonthankulam village in Nanguneri Taluk of Tirunelveli district. The wetland was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1994 and comes under the jurisdiction of Tamil Nadu Water resources department (PWD) and Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Tirunelveli district. The inland tank was built few centuries ago, interconnected by canals that bring water from the rivers originating in the Western Ghats. These rivers and tanks support rich social and cultural heritage and economically support agriculture. It irrigates about 190 acres of paddy. While socio-economic and cultural significance exist, very little is known about their ecological importance. The site experiences tropical humid climate, receiving water only through seasonal rainfall ranging from 750-850 mm. The major sources of water for the wetland is rainfall, groundwater, surrounding runoff from catchment and Manimutharu Dam. The wetlands consist in the form of irrigation tanks, interconnected by an ancient network of canals, and fed by the rivers originating from the Western Ghats. These irrigation tanks have socio-economic and cultural significance.

Salient Features


Criterion 3 : supports plants (165),birds (223), reptiles (21),amphibians (8), odanates (11), butterfly (55), fishes (12) and mammals (10) and maintains the biological diversity of the bio geographic region.
Criterion 4 : supports bird species like oriental darter (nt), spot-billed pelican (nt), black headed ibis (nt) and painted stork (nt) at a critical stage of their life cycle by providing suitable breeding habitats
Criterion 5 : supports more than 20,000 water birds which includes both resident and migratory birds such as terns, ibises, egrets, herons, storks, pelican, ducks, cormorants, small waders.
Criterion 6 : supports 1% population of spot-billed pelican (nt), painted stork (nt) and black-headed ibis (nt) .



Site NameKoonthankulam Bird Sanctuary
Site No 2479
Declaration Date 03.08.2022
Designated Date 08.11.2021
Co-Ordinates 08°29’44’’N - 78°45’14’’E
Area Extent ( Hectare) 72.04
District Tirunelveli
Elevation ( meters) 69 to 75
Depth (m) 2
Rainfall (mm) 706
Salinity (ppt) 0.174
Wetland Type Fresh water lake
Soil Organic
Water pH 7.5
Water TDS ppm 2060
Water Conductivity μS/cm 405

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