BHUBANESWAR: Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) is now abuzz with the fluttering of hill myna birds, a species that was on the verge of extinction at the reserve.
The birds were sighted by the Similipal authorities at Chahala tourist site within the reserve on Sunday. Human interference in the sanctuary and stealing of eggs by villagers had resulted in their numbers dwindling over the last five years.
"The birds look beautiful and their presence in the sanctuary will definitely add to tourists' delight," said STR field director Anup Nayak.
He said these birds were often kept as pets by people. "The birds' eggs are in great demand. Between 2009 and 2012, the bird's population started going down as their eggs were stolen by people to sell," he said.
To create a conducive atmosphere for the birds, the STR authorities said they stopped villagers from entering the forest to collect minor forest produce. They also stopped research scholars from venturing into the forest.
"We first restored the habitation by ensuring zero human movement near the areas where they flocked. We also intensified monitoring. Special tiger protection force (STPF) personnel also helped preserve the serenity of the place as their presence didn't allow poachers to step into the forest," said a senior wildlife officer.
In another development, the STR authorities on Monday released the CD of a documentary film on Similipal. The CDs will be available in the market. "The film named 'Pride of Similipal' contains documentation of the reserve's wildlife, tourist attractions, how the officials launch monitoring, and information about flora and fauna," said an officer.