Sharmili Mallick

Mayurbhanj: The annual bird census in different forest divisions of Odisha started on Sunday.

Reports said the enumeration of avian species in Puri and Mayurbhanj districts started at 5.30 am today and continued till 12 PM.

The forest officials conducted the survey at several water bodies in Simlipal, Baripada, Rairangpur, Karanjia and Balasore forest divisions of Mayurbhanj district to assess the exact number of migratory birds arrived in the region during their annual sojourn in winter season.

The waterfowl census is usually conducted either in the first or second week of January, annually.
Similarly, around 25 units of forest officials, ornithologists, wildlife enthusiasts and staff of the division have been engaged for the annual enumeration of migratory birds in Konark, Astaranga, Gop, Balukhand and Brahmagiri forest ranges under Puri Wildlife Division.

"The head counting of the birds started at 5.30 AM and we have identified 45-50 varieties of migratory birds so far in Brahmagiri range. Four teams which including two bird experts from North Orissa University have been deployed to count birds in Brahamgiri forest division," informed Uttam Kumar Gadnayak, Assistant Conservator of Forest (ACF), Puri Wildlife Division.

Each survey team has been provided with binoculars, two-way radio sets, GPS scale and other equipment for the census. Boats have also been engaged for the movement of teams in several forest division including Brahmagiri.

As per the State Forest department, the annual enumeration of migratory birds at Hirakud Reservoir will be conducted on January 7.

Staff of three forest divisions - Sambalpur, Hirakud and Jharsuguda will be engaged in the task for which 21 teams have been formed. While six teams will be deployed from Hirakud and Jharsuguda divisions, nine will be engaged from Sambalpur. The DFO said the Forest department is also trying to rope in students from OUAT for the census.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)