Water Bird Status Survey-2022: 10.74 lakh birds flock to Chilika, largest wintering ground in Indian subcontinent

What is the News?

According to the Water Bird Status Survey-2022, Chilika Lake saw a million birds including an uncommon Mongolian gull visiting the waterbody this year.

Note: Chilika lake hosts birds migrating from thousands of miles away from the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and South-East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas. 

What is the Water Bird Status Survey-2022?

The Survey was conducted in Chilika Lake. It was undertaken jointly by the Odisha State Wildlife Organization, the Chilika Development Authority(CDA) and the Bombay Natural History Society.

Read more: Fishing cat to be the ambassador of Chilika Lake
What are the key findings of the Water Bird Status Survey-2022?

Around 10.7 lakh birds belonging to the 107 bird species were counted in Chilika Lake. (Last year, the number of birds counted was over 12 lakh).

The lake reported a rare sighting of the uncommon Mongolian gull.

Birds at Nalabana Bird Sanctuary: A total of 3.5 lakh birds were counted in Nalabana Bird Sanctuary inside Chilika. This is a decrease of 65,000 from the previous year. 

The decrease is attributed to high water levels and the presence of water in cultivated fields in adjoining areas. Waterbirds love to flock on large mudflats.

There was also an increase in numbers for the greater flamingo at Nalabana mudflat. This indicates that the restoration at Nalabana is effective. This year’s greater flamingo count was the highest in the last decade.

However, there was also a marginal decrease in the number of species such as the gadwall, Eurasian wigeon, northern shoveler, tufted duck and red-crested pochard. 

Read more: “Chilika Lake” was a part of the Bay of Bengal: Study

Source: This post is based on the article10.74 lakh birds flock to Chilika, largest wintering ground in Indian subcontinent published in The Hindu on 6th Jan 2022.

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