Winged Guests Throng Odisha’s Chilika Lake

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Balugan: Unfazed by the impact of the cyclonic storm Bulbul in Odisha, thousands of migratory birds have started congregating in Chilika Lake, the largest brackish water lake in Asia.

According to reports, several migratory bird species like the Northern Shovelers, Gadwalls and Northern Pintails from the remote areas of Siberia, Caspian Sea, Baikal Lake of Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Ladakh, US and Canada have thronged the lake in large numbers this year while Flamingos are seen in small numbers in Nuapada, Gurubai, Aanlakuda and Satapada areas of the lake.

While tourist inflow to the lake has gone up with the arrival of exotic bird species, environmentalists are worried over the safety of these birds.

“Since it is not entirely possible for the Forest Department to keep a watch on these birds, local people should take the initiative for their safety. The safety of these birds will be strengthened if the Forest Department entrusts the responsibility to the local people,” said Akshaya Kumar Jena, a bird lover.

Meanwhile, the Forest Department has made elaborate arrangements for the protection of the birds. “We have set up 20 camps at various locations in the lake area and intensified patrolling to keep a watch on poachers,” said Gangadhar Sahu, Ranger of Chilika-Nuapada Forest Division.

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