Range Officers From 3 States Visit Arachandi Wetland In Odisha’s Cuttack To Study Conservation Of Migratory Birds

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OB Bureau

Cuttack: The range officers from three outside states, undergoing training at Forest Rangers Training College in Angul, were taken on a field visit to Arachandi wetland in the district to study protection and conservation of migratory birds with the cooperation of local people.

Thousands of migratory birds visit the wetland of Arachandi under Banki block during the winter. Like Chilika, Bhitarkanika and Mangaljodi, these birds stay in Arachandi resort to mass nesting during their stay.

Though the birds at Arachandi are also vulnerable to poaching, the Forest department has not taken any step to ensure their protection like other wetlands where temporary camps are set up and watch towers are erected. The department has also refrained from carrying out a census of migratory birds here.

However, the Centre for Rural Tourism and Development (CRTD), a Banki-based NGO, took the initiative for protection of the winged visitors with the help of people of villages around the wetland.

Under the leadership of its secretary Lalit Mohan Panda, the members of CRTD convinced the villagers the importance of protection of the birds for conservation of environment. The NGO also carried out census of the birds with the help of the students from OUAT and Utkal University at Bhubaneswar, Banki College and other institutions under the guidance of experts.

With Arachandi emerging as a model for conservation of the migratory birds, the Angul’s FRTC sent 57 range officers from outside to conduct field study. The range officers included 51 from Uttar Pradesh, two from Tamil Nadu and four from Delhi.

The visiting range officers were divided into five groups and taken to different nesting sites of the migratory birds by the CRTD members. They were explained the steps taken by the local villagers for protection of the birds in their farmland. During the tour, the group identified 117 species of birds visiting the wetland.

OB Bureau

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