Monday, September 4, 2023

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary UPSC

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, locally known as “Chitrangudi Kanmoli”, is a well-known bird sanctuary located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The sanctuary is an important habitat for various species of migratory and resident birds, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts.

There are 50 bird species found, including four near-threatened species. The Sanctuary is an important breeding ground for wintering birds such as spot-billed pelican (Pelecanus philippensis), painted stork (Mycteria leucocephala), little egret (Egretta garzetta) and grey heron (Ardea cinerea). 

The best time to visit Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is during the winter months, from November to March, when many migratory birds arrive at the sanctuary. The weather during this period is also pleasant for outdoor activities.

Table of Contents

  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Location
  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary History
  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Area
  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Flora
  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptile
  • Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Location

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is located in Chitrangudi village, Mudukulathur Taluk, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated in the southern part of Tamil Nadu, in the southeastern region of India. 

It is adjacent to Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary. 

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is Madurai Airport, which is approximately 110 kilometers (about 68 miles) away. From Madurai Airport, you can hire a taxi or use other transportation options to reach the sanctuary.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is Ramanathapuram Railway Station, which is located in the town of Ramanathapuram itself. Ramanathapuram Railway Station is well-connected to major cities in Tamil Nadu and other parts of India. From the railway station, you can easily reach the bird sanctuary by road using local transportation or by hiring a taxi.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary History

Establishment: Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary was officially established as a protected bird sanctuary in the year 1989. Since its inception, it has played a crucial role in the conservation and preservation of avian species and their natural habitat within the region.

Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) Status: Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary has gained recognition as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). This prestigious designation highlights its significance as a critical habitat for a diverse range of bird species. IBAs are globally recognized as areas of international importance for bird conservation, emphasizing the sanctuary's role in protecting avian biodiversity.

Ramsar Sites Designation: In a significant development, Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary was designated as a Ramsar Site in 2022. Ramsar Sites are wetlands of international importance, recognized under the Ramsar Convention—an international treaty aimed at the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands.

This recent designation underscores the ecological importance of Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary and its surrounding wetland ecosystems. It signifies the sanctuary's contribution to the conservation of wetland biodiversity and its role in supporting numerous bird species, both resident and migratory, that rely on these wetlands for their survival.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Area

The Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary covers an area of approximately 0.4763 square kilometers. This sanctuary encompasses a relatively compact but ecologically significant space that primarily consists of seasonal and perennial freshwater tanks, marshy areas, and associated habitats. 

Despite its relatively small size, it plays a vital role in providing a habitat for a diverse range of bird species, making it an essential site for birdwatching and conservation efforts in the region.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Flora

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary boasts a diverse range of flora, predominantly characterized by tropical dry deciduous forest vegetation. The sanctuary's plant life includes the following key species:

Babul (Thorn Mimosa): Babul is a dominant plant species within the sanctuary's dry deciduous forest. It plays a significant role in shaping the landscape.

Prosopis juliflora: This invasive plant species is slowly encroaching on the sanctuary area, affecting the growth of native babul trees.

Grasses: The grasses found in the sanctuary include Bermuda grass and Dichanthium foveolatum (Eremopogon foveolatus), which contribute to the ecosystem's stability and provide forage for wildlife.

Trees Along Irrigation Tanks: The areas around the sanctuary's irrigation tanks feature a variety of tree species, including tamarind, fig, neem, portia, silk tree (Albizia amara), and drumstick trees (Murungai in Tamil).

Medicinal Plants: Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is also home to valuable medicinal plants such as holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and flame lily (Gloriosa superba), which are known for their therapeutic properties. 

Note- Flame lily (Gloriosa superba) is the State flower of Tamil Nadu.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Fauna (Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Animals)

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is renowned for its rich avian diversity, but it also hosts a variety of other wildlife species within its ecosystem. Here are some of the key fauna found in the Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary


  • Grey Wolf


  • Spot-billed Pelican 
  • Asian Openbill 
  • Little Egret 
  • Large Egret 
  • Grey Heron 
  • Purple Heron 
  • Indian Pond Heron 
  • Oriental White Ibis 
  • Black Ibis
  • Painted Stork
  • Cormorants
  • Teals
  • Other Ducks
  • Pelicans
  • White Storks


  • Snakes
  • Lizards

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary UPSC Questions

Q. Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary which state?/Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary district?/In which state is Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Ramsar sites?

A. Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is located in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. It is situated in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.

Q. What is Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary famous for?

A. Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, India, is famous for several reasons:

(i) Rich Avian Biodiversity: The sanctuary is renowned for its diverse birdlife, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers and ornithologists. It serves as a habitat for both resident and migratory bird species. During the winter months, it hosts large flocks of migratory birds, including flamingos, pelicans, and various waterfowl.

(ii) Wetland Ecosystem: Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is characterized by its wetland habitats, including seasonal and perennial freshwater tanks, marshes, and associated ecosystems. These wetlands provide essential breeding and feeding grounds for numerous bird species and support a variety of other wildlife.

(iii) Ramsar Site: The sanctuary has been designated as a Ramsar Site, signifying its international importance as a wetland of significance for biodiversity conservation. This recognition underscores its role in the protection and preservation of wetland ecosystems.

(iv) Medicinal Plants: Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is also known for the presence of medicinal plants such as holy basil (Ocimum sanctum) and flame lily (Gloriosa superba), which have therapeutic uses and contribute to the sanctuary's ecological diversity.

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary

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