BHUBANESWAR:The Wetland Research and Training Centre of Chilika Development Authority (CDA) at Chandraput near Barkul will house the first regional centre of Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS). The avifauna observatory will be inaugurated on Monday.
The centre will help document species-wise population of birds at major congregation sites in the lake. Besides, bird ringing, colour flagging, neck collar studies as well as sample collection for avian influenza and other diseases will be recorded to monitor the health status of Nalabana.The regional unit of BNHS will impart training to CDA and wildlife staff along with volunteers on bird migration and water bird counting techniques.
Breeding bird surveys to understand the status of historical nesting sites, monitoring the success of management recommendations suggested during previous studies and role of migratory birds in enriching Chilika through guano deposition will also be done.The centre will also come out with an atlas on Chilika bird migration based on the ringing recoveries, satellite tracking and colour flagging studies carried out in the brackish water lake from 2001 to 2018 and publish scientific papers in international journals.
Established in 1883, Mumbai-based BNHS is a pioneer non-Government organisation working on conservation based on scientific research throughout the country.
BNHS has been associated with CDA and Forest department for the last one and half decade in carrying out census of bird population and ringing migratory birds to establish the flyways.“A permanent regional centre is being set up to take up the activities on a continuous basis to help planners in better management of the lake’s ecology and its wintering guests,” said an official.
Chilika lagoon has the largest wintering congregation of migratory birds in the Indian sub-continent. It hosts nearly 10 lakh birds with 97 species being intercontinental migratory in nature during winter season.
The bird population studies by BNHS has revealed the important role of Chilika in maintaining the global population of at least six duck species. Over 18,000 birds of 79 species have been ringed by BNHS so far.