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Rashmi Ranjan

Chilika: The annual bird census at Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, began today in five ranges under the Chilika wildlife division- Tangi, Balugaon, Rambha, Satapada and Chilika.

As many as 21 teams comprising over 111 wildlife officials, experts, volunteers and environmentalists started the headcount exercise which began at 6 am today.

While 19 of the 21 teams will do the counting on land, two teams are deployed in the water bodies for the annual counting.

"This year 21 teams have been formed for the annual bird census and each team comprises of five to six members. The census will be conducted at five ranges under the Chilika wildlife division," informed Chilika Forest Department DFO Kedarnath Swain.

"The participants are mostly from Forest department, local NGOs and scientists from Mumbai," said Dr Balchandran, deputy director of BNHS.

https://youtu.be/cwDQRN2Sx4k

Prior to the headcount exercise, all the members of the 21 teams were given a special training at Chilika Development Authority (CDA) office yesterday.

Every year, lakhs of migratory birds from 22 countries like Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Pakistan visit Chilika lagoon during the winter season. Last year, 11, 05,040 birds of 184 species visited Chilika. The highest number of 4, 06,308 birds were spotted in Nalabana Sanctuary during last year census.

(Edited By Ramakanta Biswas)

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