The Vedanthangal lake bird sanctuary has a tradition of the people actively protecting birds coming to the area since time immemorial. The local people understood the relationship between birds and the productivity of their crops even before the concept of wildlife conservation came into vogue. They knew that the bird droppings in the water created guano which acted as fertilizer. Towards the end of the 18th centuary local villagers complained to the collector of Chengalpet Lionel Palace, about the British soldiers shooting the birds. They demanded and obtained a ‘Cowle’ from the collector to protect the birds. In 1936 the collector officially recognized the lake as a sanctuary. In 1962 it was given the legal status of reserved forest under the Madras Forest Act.
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is one of the oldest bird sanctuaries in India, and has been fiercely protected by the local population for well over 250 years. In 1936, the park was notified as a sanctuary, and in 1962, the Madras Forest Act legally accorded the status of a reserve forest to Vedanthangal. Ten years later, the place was declared as a wildlife sanctuary.
In government order (G. O. Ms. No. 199 E&F (FR V(1)) Dept. Dated 8.7.1988) the area has been declared as Vedanthangal Lake Bird Sanctuary, under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972.
In 1967 a rest house was constructed for the convenience of visiting inspecting officiers and tourists.
The area had a compact grove of 500 trees earlier. An additional 100 trees were planted in 1973 and over 1000 trees were planted in 1996
vedanthangal birds sanctuary is one of the smallest and oldest in the country with a unique history. The local people have been protecting the sanctuary for centuries now because they have realized that the bird droppings falling into the tank increases nitrogen content of the water and when used to irrigate crop increases the yield greatly and saves the cost of fertilizers. As far back as 1798, the village folk convinced the authorities to give protection to the birds of the 30 ha. area of the Vedanthangal tank. Around 30000 birds come every season even though the area is just 30 ha It then attracts multitudes of herons, egrets, storks, ibises and spoon bills. If the monsoon is heavy, these trees can be partially submerged. Despite its compact size, Vedanthangal is worth a visit, especially between October and January, for the experience of seeing nesting birds in the thousand within close range.
One of the first birds to arrive at Vedanthal are Openbilled storks and breed twice during the same season before leaving the sanctuary.Egrets,Spot billed pelican, Painted stork, Great cormorant, Indian Cormorant, Darter, Eurasian spoonbill, Asian openbill, Black-headed Ibis, Grey Heron, Purple Heron, Great Egret.are seen in large numbers. Some of the other commonly seen waterfowl are the white ibis, night heron, darter, pond heron and ducks like Comb duck, pintails, common teals, dabchick, shoveller,black-winged stilt, little stilt, red shank, sand piper, ringed plover, curlew etc., and arboreal birds like parakeets, babblers, mynas, barbets, bee-eater, rollers, cuckoos onoles, drongos etc., and raptors such as blck winged kite, Brahminy kite, short-toed eagle, pariah kite etc., are seen in Vedanthangal . Mammals seen here are Jackal, Jungle Cat, Wild Boar, Black-naped Hare.