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Bird Census In Odisha: Count Of Winged Guests Surpasses Previous Year Tally By 4 Lakh!

Bhubaneswar: The observation during the mid-winter census of the avian species across all forest divisions in Odisha is certain to bring smiles on the faces of bird lovers and ornithologists. The survey conducted by wildlife divisions this month revealed the presence of 20.40 lakh birds including the migratory species, surpassing the previous year count of 16.76 lakh birds.

The bird population in Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon, has increased this year by over 2 lakh when compared to last season. The census conducted by the Chilika Wildlife Division has revealed that around 12,42,826 birds belonging to 190 different species have taken shelter in the lagoon this season.

A total of 12,04,351 individuals of 111 waterbird species and 38,475 individuals of 79 wetland species were counted from the entire lagoon. The Nalabana island inside the lake continued to be the most favourite destination for the winged guests. As many as 4,24,788 birds from 113 species were counted in Nalabana bird sanctuary, which is 18,480 higher than the previous year, reports claimed.

Compared to the previous two years, the Tufted Duck population has shown about 20 per cent decline. Among the diving ducks, the Red-crested Pochard population increased by 40 per cent which is the highest recorded number from Chilika Lake in the last two decades.

The worrying fact, however, is the decline in bird count in Angul Circle. A report of the State Wildlife department mentioned that the bird count here has come down to 55913, a drastic fall of almost 20000 when compared to last year’s 75607. The major decline was witnessed in Athagarh Forest Division.

Similarly, the city forest division under Bhubaneswar Circle also posted a decline this year. As per official reports, the bird count for the year 2020-21 stood at 8720 in comparison to previous year’s 9398.

With the arrival of this winter, various exotic species flocked from the remotest corners of the globe. The count is likely to rise further if the latest technologies are followed, opined experts.

“One of the factors which affect the inhabitation of migratory birds is the terrestrial vegetation. If in a particular area, there is a shortage of food for a group of these migratory birds, they shift to a different location. The behaviour of the birds is also changing every year. It has become difficult to assume which species of birds arrive in a particular season. A revision of the count will ensure better results,” said ornithologist Dr Gohar Abedin.

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