Vikash Sharma

The annual headcount exercise of dolphins inhabiting along brackish water bodies of the Chilika lake began on Sunday. As per official sources, around 18 teams comprising senior officials of the State forest department, Wildlife experts and OUAT officials have been roped in to conduct the dolphin census at Chilika.

The entire Chilika lagoon has been divided into several sectors- outer and inner Chilika, northern and southern zones for a comprehensive count of the Irrawaddy dolphins by the experts’ team.

Each team comprises five members and they will conduct the census with the help of GPS and other traditional methods. Senior officials said that the dolphin census which began at 6 am today will continue till 12 pm.

It is pertinent to mention here that the dolphin census was earlier carried out under the supervision of the officials of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA). However, forest department experts have been conducting the annual exercise for the last two years.