Pallikaranai Wetland

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Pallikaranai wetland is a freshwater swamp in the city of Chennai, India. It is situated adjacent to the Bay of Bengal, about 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of the city centre, and has a geographical area of 80 square kilometres (31 sq mi). Pallikaranai marshland is the only surviving wetland ecosystem of the city and is among the few and last remaining natural wetlands of South India. It is one of the 94 identified wetlands under National Wetland Conservation and Management Programme (NWCMP) operationalised by the Government of India in 1985–86 and one of the three in the state of Tamil Nadu, the other two being Point Calimere and Kazhuveli. It is also one of the prioritised wetlands of Tamil Nadu. The topography of the swamp is such that it always retains some storage, thus forming an aquatic ecosystem. A project on 'Inland Wetlands of India' commissioned by the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India had prioritised Pallikaranai marsh as one of the most significant wetlands of the country. The marsh contains several rare or endangered and threatened species and acts as a forage and breeding ground for thousands of migratory birds from various places within and outside the country. The number of bird species sighted in the wetland is significantly higher than the number at Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary.