Ramakanta Biswas

Chilika: The bird population in Chilika, Asia largest brackish water lagoon, has increased by 57,000 this year in comparison to last year.

As per the census that was conducted yesterday, the lake has recorded total of 11, 05,040 birds this year as against 10, 47,968 registered last year. The highest number of 4, 06,308 birds were spotted in Nalabana Sanctuary.

While a total of 184 species of migratory birds were spotted in Chilika this year, the highest number of 102 species was found in Nalabana sanctuary alone, informed Balugaon divisional forest officer (DFO) Alok Ranjan Hota.

Yesterday, the annual bird census was carried out in five ranges under the Chilika wildlife division by 21 teams comprising over 100 wildlife officials, experts and environmentalists. In order to ensure that the birds do not get frightened, country boats were used in the headcount exercise instead of motorised boats.

The enumeration of birds was conducted between 6 am and 12 pm with the help of binoculars and cameras through estimation and block methods.

Winged guests from far off places including Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, remote parts of Russia, central and South East Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas throng the lake every winter for feeding and roosting. They start their homeward journey with the onset of summer.


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