Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The annual bird counting exercise commenced in Chilika lake, largest brackish water lagoon in Asia, on Tuesday morning.

As per reports, as many as 21 teams comprising 105 forest department officials have been engaged in the enumeration of both the domestic and migratory birds which kick started from 6 am and will continue till 12 pm today.

The surveyor teams will also include officials of Chilika Development Authority (CDA), experts from Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), Wild Odisha, Frow With Nature, Elephant Trust and members of various social organisations.

The census is underway at five ranges namely Satapada, Rambha, Balugaon, Tangi and Chilika. As many as 18 teams are undertaking the survey work in terrestrial areas and rest are engaged in aquatic areas.

“Each group has around four to five members comprising one staff, one resource person and other guides. The census is likely to be completed by 12 pm and after that counting will take place. Report will be out by 5-6 pm,” said Chilika Jyoti Katla, District Forest Officer, Chilka Wildlife.

Spread over Puri, Khurda, and Ganjam districts, the lake covers an area of around 1,100 sq km.

Notably the practice of counting birds in Chilika has been exercised every year. Migratory birds from northern Eurasia, the Caspian region, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Lake Baikal and remote areas of Russia and neighbouring countries visit the lake every year and return home before the onset of summer. 

(Edited by Ramakant Biswas)