Chilika Bird Census 2022 registers major drop in avian visitors

Bhubaneswar: The annual bird census in Chilika has registered a major drop as a total of 10,74,173 individuals of 107 water bird species and 37,953 individuals of 76 wetland dependent species were counted from the entire lagoon. As many as 3,58,889 birds (97 species) were counted in Nalabana Sanctuary. This is 65,899 less than the previous year’s count.

Among the most three species of ducks, Northern Pintail (1,72,285), Gadwall (1,53,985) and Eurasian Wigeon (1,50,843) were counted over one lakh in numbers which is the highest contribution for this year. Among the duck species counted less than previous year are Gadwall and Eurasian Wigeon.

In the case of species like Northern Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Red Crested Pochard, the number found was of a marginal decrease. The declining number in local species like Cotton Teal and Lesser Whistling duck was also observed. However, a noteworthy increase in population of species like Northern Pintail, Common Coot and Common Pochard was noticed during this bird census.

Local species such as Purple Swamphen, Purple heron, Indian Moorhen and Jacanas were found in higher numbers. The decrease in number of waders species in Nalabana is ascribed to higher water level in the lagoon. Among the waders, a sizable increase in the number of near-threatened Black-Tailed Godwit was registered.

The shifting of ducks from Northern Sector to Southern Sector was also visible. Among the Geese, the Bar Headed Goose number has decreased marginally but the Greylag Goose has shown a slight increase.

Rare sighting of Mongolian Gull was observed this year in the lagoon.

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