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Central Asian Flyway: Insights from Kelambakkam



  Mar 27, 2024

Central Asian Flyway: Insights from Kelambakkam



The Central Asian Flyway encompasses a vast geographical route, extending from the northern breeding grounds in Siberia and Northern Europe to the southern wintering grounds in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Africa. Kelambakkam, located near Chennai in the southeastern part of India, plays a pivotal role in this migratory path, serving as a critical stopover for numerous wader species embarking on their annual migration.

On March 25, 2024, the Kelambakkam-Covelong brackish water system was observed to host a significant congregation of migratory waders, preparing for their return journey to the northern breeding grounds. This event underlines the essential nature of such habitats along the Central Asian Flyway, providing necessary resources for the birds to rest, refuel, and prepare for the next phase of their journey.

The geographical spread of the Central Asian Flyway covers diverse ecosystems, ranging from the Arctic tundra of Siberia to the wetlands and estuaries of South Asia and further to the savannahs and forests of Africa. Each of these ecosystems offers unique habitats that are crucial for the survival of migratory birds during their journey.

Kelambakkam’s importance within this flyway highlights the interconnectedness of global ecosystems and the dependence of migratory birds on a network of habitats across continents. The presence of species like the common redshank, marsh sandpiper, common greenshank, curlew sandpiper, and stints in this region emphasizes the global nature of bird migration and the need for international cooperation in the conservation of migratory bird habitats.

The observation of migratory waders at Kelambakkam adds valuable data to our understanding of the Central Asian Flyway’s geography and the critical stopover sites that sustain migratory bird populations. It also serves as a reminder of the urgent need to protect and preserve wetlands and other key habitats that support the biodiversity and ecological balance of our planet.


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