Annual Bird Census Begins In Chilika Lagoon
Chilika: The annual bird census at Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, began today in five ranges under the Chilika wildlife division.
As many as 21 teams comprising over 100 wildlife officials, experts and environmentalists started the headcount exercise. Commenced at 6 am, the enumeration of birds will continue till 12 pm today.
Prior to the headcount exercise, around 100 members of the 21 teams took part in a training camp organised in Chilika 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, 10.47 lakh birds of 181 species visited Chilika.
As the weather is not favourable, wildlife experts think that the headcount may go down this year.
Gayatri Devi, wildlife expert, said, “As per my research, the headcount will certainly declined this year due to western disturbance, rain and cyclonic storm. Though there may not be a major drop in the number like one or two lakh, the avian count will certainly decline this year.”
N Balachandran, deputy director of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said, “We are going in 21 groups to 21 different areas to count the birds at the same time to avoid duplication and get the actual number of birds coming to Chilika this migratory season.”