Khurda: The wildlife wing of the Odisha forest department on Wednesday began the annual bird census in Chilika, Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon and several other wetlands under different wildlife sanctuaries in the state.
Forest department sources said as many as 21 teams with five members each comprising officials of wildlife organisations, several ornithologists, wildlife activists, and bird lovers of the state are participating in the bird counting at Chilika, Balugaon, Satpada, Tangi and Rambha range under Khurda forest division and Brahmagiri and Nuapada range under Puri forest division.
Sources said, last season around 9.47 lakh migratory birds of 167 species had visited the 1100 sq km Chilika, the largest winter resort for migratory birds in the Indian subcontinent.
Besides Chilika, bird survey also kicked off at Anshupa lake under the Athagarh subdivision area in Cuttack district and more than 100 wetlands under Similpal and Kuldiha sanctuary.
According to information, 3 teams are carrying out the avian headcount at Anshupa lake while 4 teams have been employed for the survey at Kuldiha.
Winged guests from far off places like the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, remote parts of Russia, Central and South East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas descend on Chilika and other wetlands in Odisha every winter for feeding and roosting.