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... Decline in Bhitarkanika Park

A dramatic decline in migratory bird population in Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas of the district has raised concern over future of the winged visitors and the fate of water bodies in the region.

Published: 16th January 2014 11:42 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th January 2014 11:59 AM   |  A+A-

A dramatic decline in migratory bird population in Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas of the district has raised concern over future of the winged visitors and the fate of water bodies in the region.

This year’s mid-winter migratory bird census revealed lowest figure of the birds in the last 10 years. In 2008, the forest officials counted 1,01,293 birds. While the number of birds was 1,14,921 in 2009, it dropped to 81,401 last year. This year’s count was the lowest ever at 68,514. “We monitored all the water bodies and mangrove forest areas of Bhitarkanika on December 30 for bird census. As unseasonal rain damaged crops in the area recently, the migratory birds may have given the area a go-by,” said Kedar Kumar Swain, Divisional Forest Officer of Bhitarkanika National Park.

“Though the total figure is low, the number of species has not dwindled as we found 106 species of migratory and local birds,” said Swain.

The birds that migrate at this time of the year include Open Billed Stork, Little Cormorant, Median Egret, Large Egret, Little Egret, Purple Heron, Night Heron, Grey Heron, Darter, White Ibis, Cattle Egret, Grey-backed Shrike, Ruddy Kingfisher, Red-necked Phalarrope, Western Reef Egret, Oriental Honey Buzzard, Blue-Winged Leafbird, Great Thick-knee, Great Knot, Tawny Pipit and Goliath Heron.



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