Chilika Survey: Over 57,000 More Migratory Birds Arrive This Year

Bhubaneswar: Over 57,000 more migratory birds arrived in Chilika this year, according to the mid-winter waterfowl/water bird status survey 2023 conducted in the Chilika Lagoon on January 4.

The census, jointly conducted by Odisha State Wildlife Organization, Chilika Development Authority and Bombay Natural History Society, found 10,93,049 migratory birds in Chilika this year while the number of resident birds was 38,880.

A total of 184 species were traced, of which 105 are migratory species.

Training on status survey methodology was imparted to the participants at Wetland Research & Training Centre, Chandraput, on January 3.

A total of 134 personnel — including bird experts from government and non-government organisations like Bombay Natural History Society, Wild Orissa, WWF India, District Honorary Wildlife Warden, along with forest officers (retired and working) — participated in the survey.

The Chilika Lagoon was divided into 21 segments/units, which include four sectors of Chilika Lake, of which 2 units were by road and 19 units departed by boat.

Each unit was led by a bird expert accompanied by three or five participants and one local guide. Each unit was provided with a status survey kit (map showing area of the unit and route to cover, binocular/spotting scope, notebook with colour plates of 48 common water bird species of Chilika, kit bag, T-shirt & cap with logo, bird reference books of CDA publication, annotated checklist of birds prepared by DFO Chilika Wildlife Division, Balugaon, waterfowl status survey form).

The total bird count was carried out for all water bird species and wetland dependent birds which include Passerine birds. Actual number counts were made for smaller flocks, larger and conspicuous birds. and estimates were done for the species found in larger flocks. Time decided for bird count was 06.00 A.M. to 12.00 noon.

The status survey operation was coordinated and monitored by Divisional Forest Officer, Assistant Conservator of Forests and Forest Range Officers of Chilika Wildlife Division, Balugaon.

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