10.74 lakh birds flock to Chilika Lake
What’s the news?
- As per the water bird status survey-2022 conducted in the Chilika, a total of 10,74,173 birds of the 107 water bird species and 37,953 individuals of 76 wetland dependent species were counted at the entire lagoon.
- Bird census members reported rare sightings of the uncommon Mongolian gull.
News in detail
- The census was undertaken jointly by the Odisha State Wildlife Organisation, the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) and the Bombay Natural History Society.
- The Chilika Lagoon was divided strategically into 21 segments for the census.
- A total of 3,58,889 birds (97 species) were counted in Nalabana Bird Sanctuary inside Chilika, a decrease by 65,899 from the previous year.
- The decrease is attributed to high water level and presence of water in cultivated fields in adjoining areas.
- According to the report, among the three pintail species of ducks, the northern pintail (1,72,285), gadwall (1,53,985), Eurasian wigeon (1,50,843) accounted for over one lakh in this year’s count.
- There was a marginal decrease in the number of species such as the northern shoveler, tufted duck and red crested pochard while an increase in population of northern pintail, common coot and common pochard was noticed.
- The increase in numbers for the greater flamingo at Nalabana mudflat indicates that the restoration at Nalabana is effective.
- Overall, the local resident species such as purple swamp-hen, purple heron, Indian moorhen, and jacanas were found in higher numbers.
About Chilika Lake
- It is Asia’s largest brackish water estuarine lake, located in the Odisha’s Coast.
- It is the largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl found anywhere on the Indian sub-continent. Flocks of migratory waterfowl arrive from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and South East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas, to feed and breed in its fertile waters.
- Chilika lake has been designated as a “Ramsar Site”, i.e. a wetland of International Importance.
- The lake was also included in the Montreux Record (Threatened list) in 1993 by Ramsar Secretariat due to the change in the ecological character of the lake ecosystem. Subsequently, however, due to successful restoration of the lake ecosystem by Chilika Development Authority it was removed from the Montreux Record in 2002.
- The Nalaban Island within the lake is notified as a Bird Sanctuary under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
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