Irrawaddy dolphin census completed in Chilika

Bhubaneswar: The Wildlife department undertook census of Irrawaddy dolphins in the Chilika lake from 7 am to midnight on Wednesday.

As many as 80 numerators divided into 18 teams conducted the head count of dolphins. Personnel of the Wildlife department, Chilika Development Authority (CDA), OUAT students and local volunteers undertook the census as per the Japanese line tracking survey. The Chilika lake was divided into four parts for the purpose.

DFO Bikash Ranjan Das said, “Earlier, the Chilika Development Authority was undertaking the dolphin census. But since last year, the process is being undertaken on the entire coast including Bhitarkanika. Apart from Irrawaddy dolphin, the headcount will include five other species.”

Sources at the Wildlife department said the number of dolphins in Chilika will be declared after the completion of census at other places.

In 2014, 142 dolphins were spotted in the Chilika lake. However, the department did not release the numbers in 2015.