Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 22:
Entry of visitors into Odisha’s Nalabana bird sanctuary inside Chilika Lake will be prohibited for two weeks from this Friday for headcount of the birds.
The wildlife authorities decided to impose a ban for about two weeks on entry of visitors into the bird sanctuary from December 25 till completion of the annual bird census scheduled to be conducted on January 10.
“Visitors will not be allowed to visit the Nalabana area spread across 15.53 sqkm. The restrictions will be strictly followed to ensure that the migratory birds in the sanctuary area are not affected,” said Bikash Ranjan Dash, divisional forest officer (DFO) Chilka wildlife division.
Notably, the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) and the wildlife wing of the Forest department conduct this annual status survey of avian population in Chilika Lake every year.
The footfall of domestic and international tourists at the Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon increases in December. Though the winged guests also visit Mangalajodi, Bhusandapur, Sorana and Rambha area, the attendance of the birds is high in Nalabana. In view of this, the tourists prefer to visit Nalabana which causes disturbance to the avian guests.
“Ban is imposed for smooth conduct of the census of winged guests in the sanctuary area as well as other areas of the lake,” Dash said.
As per reports, an estimated seven lakh birds of different species have already descended in the lake with the most of them in the Nalabana area.
Last year, around 7.62 lakh winged guests of 172 species were registered in the Chilika Lake area which was over 42, 000 more than the previous year.