VIJAYANAGARA: With the efforts of local enthusiasts and bird lovers, the Ankasamudra tank has become a home for different species of birds in Hagaribommanahalli taluk of Vijayanagara district.
Around two decades ago, Ankasamudra tank was dry and was being encroached upon. However, after it was designated as a bird sanctuary, in the year 2017, the water body it has become a popular destination for bird watchers.
Over the years, with its thorny trees, it became a safe spot for local and rare migratory birds to roost. More than 150 species of birds, including foreign and domestic, occupy this tank.
According to sources, the tank is spread over 244 acres. It is now a home for little cormorants, Indian cormorants, great cormorants, gray herons, purple herons, pond herons, little egrets, cattle egrets, spot-billed ducks, lesser whistling ducks, comb ducks, little grebes, black ibises, rare bird species are black-crowned night herons, white ibises, and glossy ibises. These are the first records of breeding in Anakasamudra tank in the Vijayanagara district.
Other species such as painted storks, woolly-necked storks, oriental darters, and many more birds breed here in late winter and summer. Some species have seasonally visited the tank, but the tank has become a permanent home for painted storks.
A couple of years ago the tank filled up owing to heavy rain, becoming an ideal nesting place for birds. The state wildlife board declared Ankasamudra as a birds’ conservation reserve on January 31, 2017, after bird lover Samad Kottur submitted a detailed report on the tank. Since its declaration as a birds’ conservation reserve, the tank has become a hotspot for bird watchers and wildlife photographers. Thousands of birds have been breeding and nesting during the season in this tank.
“There are 175 species of birds and 11 migratory birds listed in the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List are found in and around the Ankasamudra. Before it was declared a birds’ conservation reserve, we had put a lot of effort to protect birds here because many trees had been cut. Due to encroachment in the upstream areas of the tank, it had resulted in the tank drying up. Now, the tank is attracting bird watchers and has become a paradise of bird photography,” Vijay Ittigi claimed, a bird conservationist.