Sharmili Mallick

Puri/Mayurbhanj: The annual bird count began across the State on Thursday. The enumeration at Brahmagiri forest division near Chilika started at 6 am with three units of Forest officials carrying out the census at three routes in Brahmagiri.

A Forest official of Puri, Prashant Kumar Swain informed, “Three units consisting of 10 officials each have been formed which will conduct bird census in Brahmagiri wildlife range. We started the enumeration from 6 am today.”

“In comparison to last year, the number of migratory birds flying to Brahmagiri has increased and there is adequate water in the lake. We hope the number of bird species also increase this year,” said a bird expert, Akash Ranjan Rath.

Similarly, the counting of birds has also started in various forest divisions in Mayurbhanj district including Simlipal, Baripada, Rairangpur and Karanjia.

The Forest and Wildlife officials are carrying out the bird census in 90 water bodies in various parts of the district including in Deuli, Badajode, Paunsia, Bankabal and Suleipat.

“As per the preliminary enumeration, the count of birds has increased this year in comparison to last year and the drop in temperature might be one of the reasons behind it. We have found four to five species of birds so far in the area,” said Ghanshyam Singh, Betanoti range officer.

The bird census will begin at Chilika from January 4 while the enumeration at Bhitarkanika and Hirakud will be done from January 6.

Around 25 camps have been set up in various places and at least 1,000 forests and wildlife official, including staff, wildlife experts and academicians will take part in the census.

On the other hand, the counting of crocodile will be carried out at Bhitarkanika, Ghodahada and Simlipal from January 6 and the census of dolphin will be carried out at Chilika from January 19.

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