Precautionary measure in Chilika amid avian influenza scare

Berhampur: Amid avian influenza scare in several states, the wildlife authorities in Chilika have taken precautionary measures as the migratory birds have started flocking the brackish lake in the state.

“We have asked the authorities of the Animal Diseases Research Institute, Phulanakhara, near Cuttack to take samples from the suspected migratory birds for testing of the bird flu,” Divisional Forest Officer, Chilka (wildlife), Bikash Ranjan Das said.

He said they had taken surveillance measures to detect dead or sick bird in the lake spread over 1,100 sq km.

Besides, the personnel engaged in the anti-poaching camps are also inspecting the lake to detect any sick or dead bird. As many as 18 anti-poaching camps have been set up.

Around 15,000 birds of 55 species have arrived in the lake so far, he said. Most of the winged guests are seen in 15.59 sq km Nalabana island, declared as a bird sanctuary, and Mangalajodi.

Most of the duck species have come to the lake so far, wildlife wing officials said. Late arrival of the migratory birds is attributed to bad weather.

Last winter, 8.86 lakh birds of 161 species had visited the blue lagoon against the previous year’s 7.62 lakh of 172 species, they said.