Vembannur Wetland Complex
Vembannur wetland is a human-made inland tank, spanning around 20 ha and situated near Vembannur, a small hamlet in Rajakkamangalam Block, in Kanniyakumari District. This wetland forms part of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area. The tank is believed to have been constructed in the regime of Pandyan king Veeranarayana.
The tank and the Therrakal canal were designed to take water from River Pazhayar for irrigation purposes. The River Pazhayar and Vembannur wetland collects the entire drainage of the valley and irrigates a substantial part of Nanchilwadu.
Vembanur wetland falls under the WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions of the world Tropical and Sub-tropical Moist Deciduous Forest with a specific biogeographic region being Malabar Coast Moist Forest.
Major part of the Kodayar river basin area near Vembanur is underlain by gneissic terrain of hard crystalline rocks which include Charnotites and Khondalites. Migratite Gneiss and granites over lain the hard drops and are identified as Warhalai sand stones.
The Physiography around Vembanur is plain area with parental material gneiss while the top layer of the soil comprises sandy clay, clay content increases with respect to increase in depth of the pond the annual rain fall of the region is 985 mm.
The average depth of the Vembanur wetland is 7 m. The elevation of the Vembanur pond is about 19 m from Mean Sea Level.
- Supports more than 2000 hectares of agricultural land
- Important for the irrigation of the surrounding paddy field, banana plantation and coconut groves on which more than 1000 families are dependent
- Listed as international bird and biodiversity area with iba site code : in-tn-24, by bird life international and is part of central asian bird migratory flyway
supports threatened species such as spot-billed pelican (nt), painted stork (nt), black-headed ibis (nt) and oriental darter (nt).
supports plants (65), birds (115), reptiles (22), amphibians (7), odanates (15), butterfly (60), fishes (16) and mammals (10) and maintains the biological diversity of the bio geographic region.
supports species like indian flap-shelled turtle (vu), indian mottled eel (nt) and indonesian short-fin eel (nt) at a critical stage of their life cycle by providing suitable breeding habitats.
supports 1% population of black headed ibis (nt).