The annual bird estimation at Chilika lagoon will commence on January 11. The two-day census will cover the all sectors of the 1,100 sq km lake as well as Nalabana Sanctuary.
Currently, the Chilika Wildlife Division is carrying out monitoring and surveillance of the lagoon to assess the congregation of birds basing on which the two-day estimation will be conducted. Over 8.77 lakh birds were enumerated during the 2012-13 census. Of them, at least 3.46 lakh birds were found inside the sanctuary. A total of 180 species __ 112 of them migratory __ were enumerated during the exercise.
This year, according to sources, Nalabana has witnessed a drop in congregation this winter with the bird count appearing to be less than 40 per cent of last year’s figure. In fact, more birds have arrived at the sanctuary area.
Meanwhile, the Chilika Wildlife Division has collected 22 samples from eight birds and sent them to the High Security Animal Diseases Institute at Bhopal to check prevalence of bird flu virus.
At least two cases of bird poaching have been detected by the forest sleuths this season and two persons have been arrested in this connection.