1. Ever since the plantation of acacia trees around the tank by the forest department, the villagers are not allowed to use the dry tank bed for vegetable cultivation. This has caused resentment among the villagers, as vegetable cultivation is an important source of supplementary income.
2. After the declaration of the sanctuary, cutting of karavel trees for fuelwood was banned. This has further intensified the conflict between the FD and the people.
3. Excessive silt in the tank has reduced the storage capacity. Lack of regular desiltation leads to inadequate water supply for irrigation. Also the water table in the village has dropped because of a long drought. This has had serious impact on the economy of the village, as agriculture is the primary source of livelihood and the tank is the main source of irrigation. Management of the tank and regular desilting was a responsibility of the village committee in the past. The forest department, which is currently in charge of tank management, has (for several reasons) not been able to manage the tank effectively. One of the reasons cited is that management of Chittarangudi sanctuary is low on priority in the FD’s allocation of funds, and even when funds are allocated they usually come at the end of the financial year and not when money is required. This seems to have had an impact on the nesting birds as well; according to the villagers, the bird population in the monsoon of 2000 was much less than in previous years.
4. The number of trees in and around the tank has gone up (mainly Acacia nilotica) but canopy cover has gone down, and many of the old trees are dying because of age (and excess bird droppings on the leaves of the trees). This will have an impact on the nesting birds in the heronry.
5. The nature of association between the villagers and the tank is changing. There is increased out-migration of young people and thus agriculture may not be the primary source of livelihood for the village anymore. The reduced dependence on the tank may have negative impact on the heronry.