Gadwall ducks predominant in Chilka lake

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 8 (UNI) The Gadwall ducks are reportedly predominant among all the species that flocked to the Chilika lake, the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia, during this winter.

The bird census 2008 in Chilika lagoon, conducted jointly by the Chilika Development Authority(CDA) and Orissa State Wildlife Organisation, revealed the presence of more than 1.69 lakhs Gadwall duck.

Other species which exceeded one lakh in numbers inside the lake are Northern Pintails and Northern Shovellers while the number of Euresian pigeon, common poachard and common coot exceeded over 50,000.

The flamingo population, whose number was less than 500 last year, increased with a total sightings of 1624 during the census.

CDA Chief Executive Sudarshan Panda said rare birds such as Palla's fish eagle, Pintail snipe, Brahmin duck, Bar-headed geese, Oriental white ibis and Euresian spoon bill were recorded during the census.

He said a total 85 personnel and bird experts from government and non government organisations such as Bombay Natural History Society, Regional Museum of Natural History, World Wide Fund for Nature,Wildlife Society of Orissa and experts from Universities and colleges participated in the annual census.

Mr.Panda said the total bird count was carried out for all bird, water bird species and wetland dependant birds throughout the lake and a total of 8.92 lakh birds, belonging to 168 species, were counted from the Chilika lagoon, compared to 8.39 lakh birds enumerated in last year's census.

The CDA Chief Executive said the bird's population in Nalabana Bird sanctuary had been recorded as 4.04 lakhs compared to 1.98 lakhs during last year's census, indicating a 100 per cent increase in bird population.

He attributed such a phenomenal rise in the Nalaban bird sanctuary to the de-weeding of Salicornia from the island, restoration of the habitat, construction of mounts.

The continuous increase in bird population during last three years also suggested that the Chilika ecosystem has been maintained to cater the ecological and biological needs of different avian species coming from far off countries of the northern hemisphere.

Mr.Panda said the birds in Chilika lagoon is the largest bird congregation in India where one could see the diversity of the migratory birds as well as the largest concentration spread over 15.5 sq.km area of Nalabana bird sanctuary inside the lake.

UNI DP PL DB1538

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