Over 8.58 lakh winged guests throng Chilika this year

Bhubaneswar, Jan 11 (IANS) Over 8.58 lakh migratory birds have thronged Odisha’s Chilika Lake this winter, as per the bird census released on Monday.

Last year, over 7.61 lakh migratory birds were sighted in Chilika Lake, Asia’s largest brackish water lake and the largest winter resort for migratory birds in the Indian subcontinent.

However, the number of bird species has come down this year.

While 172 bird species were sighted last year, this winter, 161 species have arrived in the lake, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) S.S. Srivatsav, ascribing it to climatic changes including deficient rainfall and high temperatures.

A total of 106, 356 birds have thronged Bhitarkanika wildlife sanctuary in Kendrapada district this year, said the census report.

However, it was less against last year, when 113,226 migratory birds were spotted, said the report. Also less was the number of species.

A total of 87 species have come to Bhitarkanika while it was 109 last year, said an official of the Rajnagar forest division.

Sources said more than 95,000 birds have visited Hirakud water reservoir this year while 63 species were sighted in Mahanadi wildlife division.

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