Kerala Travel Guide

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Kerala Tourism

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Location: Trichur district, Kerala
Area: 11,000 ha
Altitude: 0-1 m

Description of site: The Kole region lies in Trichur, Chowghat, Mukundapuram, and Ponnani taluks of Trichur and Malappuram districts of Kerala. The name Kole refers to the peculiar type of cultivation characteristic of these wetlands (Karuvannur and Kecheri basins about 11,000 ha) carried out from December through April.

Climatic conditions: Moderate climate, with an average annual rainfall of 2500 mm. Temperature varies from a maximum of 38 C to a minimum of 17C. Humidity is high

Principal vegetation: Natural vegetation includes grasses and sedges. The principal cultivated crop is paddy. The slopes around the paddy fields are terraced and perennially planted with arecanut and coconut or annuals such as banana. The slopes then merge into flat plateau on which annual and seasonal crops are grown

Disturbances and threats: The indiscriminate use of pesticides is affecting the bird life and there are also reports of birds being captured and killed for meat

Economic and social values: This traditional form of cultivation sustains the local population. The Kole wetlands are an attractive waterfowl habitat

Fauna: An avifauna count was conducted in February 1992 by dividing the area into blocks-A dat, Aranattakura, Enammavu, Manakkodi, Mulloorkayal, Palakkal, Pudukkad, and Punnayurkulam. The following species were recorded: Podiceps ruficollis (38), Phalacrocorax niger (263), Nycticorax nycticorax (6), Ardeolagrayii (2495), Bubulcus ibis (4248), Butroides striates (2), Egretta gularis (7), Egretta garzetta (1385), E. intermedia (93), E. albs (18), Ardea purpurea (9), Anastomus oscitans (161), Ciconia episcopus (4), Threskiornis melanocephalus (26), Nettapus coromandelianus (100), Amaurornis phoenicurus (22), Porphyrio porphyrio (7), Hydrophasianus chirurgus (2), Metopidius indicus (1), Himantopus himantopus (68), Glareola lactea (1085), Vanellus indicus (50), Pluvialis dominica (205), Charadrius arquata (241), C. alexandrines (6), C.mongolus (15), Numenius arquata (21), Tringa nebularia (13), Tringa ochropus (132), Tringa stagnatilis (421),Tringa hypoleucos (173), Gallinago gallinago (17), Calidris minutes (287), Calidris temminckii (42), Larus brunnicephalus (7), L. ridibundus (1599), Chilondias hybrids (2642), Circus aeruginosus (16), C. macrourus (2), Anastomus oscitans( 161); C. melanoleucos (1).

Some bird species not included in'Birds of Kerala' (Salim Ali, 1969) were identified: Platalea leucorodia, Anas acuta, Fulica atra, Himantopus himantopus, Pluvialis squatarola, Charadrius hiaticula, Calidris albas, Calidris temminckii, Glareola pratincola, Larus argentatus, Sterna sandvicensis, phoenicurus ochruros, Oenanthe deserti, Motacilla citreola, and Estrilda amandava. The Kole lands also deserve special mention for the sighting of 161 openbill storks and and 26 white ibis

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