Bhitarkanika Avian Survey & Bird Count Raises Questions


Kendrapara: The latest avian species survey in Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha’s Kendrapara district suggests that a total of 1,38,107 birds were spotted this winter, showing a rise of 2,015 in numbers, or 1.5 percent more than the previous year counting of the winged guests.

As many as 144 avian species were counted as compared to 121 last year. A total of 1,36,092 birds were spotted in 2021.

Experts have raised eyebrows over the official bird census saying the real bird count statistics tell a different story than the figures reflected on paper. They have also questioned the non-inclusion of local public and bird experts during the enumeration exercise apart from blaming the rampant activities of illegal prawn culture as reason behind the drop in the bird count.

When enquired about the situation, Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Divisional Forest Officer Jagyandatta Pati said awareness campaigns are being organised and the Forest department is working tirelessly to increase the count of winged guests.

The birds migrate to warmer destinations to escape the bitter cold in their native places during winter and return once the mercury rises.


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