Bramhagiri (Puri), Jan 21:
The census of Irrawadi dolphins in Chilika lake began on Tuesday.
A training camp was held at Satapada near Brahmagiri on Monday evening in which senior officials of Chilika Development Authority (CDA), state Forest department, dolphin experts, a group of university students and environmentalists took part.
According to reports, the census work began at 6 am by two groups of 18 teams- one in the northern sector of the lagoon at Balugaon and the other in the southern sector from Satapada in Puri district.
According to reports, the number of Irrawadi dolphins in Chilika lake is on the decline over the years.
While 156 dolphins were found in 2011, the number came down to 145 in 2012. However, in 2013 there was a marginal rise in their number with 152.
In view of the alarming decline in the number of migratory birds due to lack of food and the effect of cyclone Phailin as was found during the recent bird census in the lagoon, the environmentalists say this is also likely to have an adverse effect on the Irrawadi dolphins.