Premier wildlife research organisation BNHS regional centre to be inaugurated in Chilika on Monday

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Bhubaneswar: Chilika Lagoon in the eastern coast of Odisha is fortunate to have the largest wintering congregation of migratory water birds in the Indian sub-continent. During winter season, it hosts nearly 1 Million birds with 97 of them being intercontinental migratory in nature.

230 species of birds have so far been identified by CDA (Chilika Development Authority) with help of various scientific organizations; BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) *of Mumbai playing a pivotal role in the process. WRTC (Wetland Research and Training Centre) of CDA at Chandraput near Barkul, will be housing the first regional center of BNHS in India from 27th August, 2018. Avifauna observatory established at WRTC (to function as the regional center) will be inaugurated on that day. Mr Deepak Apte, Director of BNHS along with his colleagues and senior Forest Officials of Odisha will be present during the function.

Chilika Lagoon in the eastern coast of Odisha is fortunate to have the largest wintering congregation of migratory water birds in the Indian sub-continent. During winter season, it hosts nearly 1 Million birds with 97 of them being intercontinental migratory in nature. 230 species of birds have so far been identified by CDA (Chilika Development Authority) with help of various scientific organizations; BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) *of Mumbai playing a pivotal role in the process. WRTC (Wetland Research and Training Centre) of CDA at Chandraput near Barkul, will be housing the first regional center of BNHS in India from 27th August, 2018.

Avifauna observatory established at WRTC (to function as the regional center) will be inaugurated on that day. Mr Deepak Apte, Director of BNHS along with his colleagues and senior Forest Officials of Odisha will be present during the function.  BNHS started working in Chilika since 1967. 18,000 birds of 79 species have been ringed by BNHS so far, many of them recovered in their breeding grounds later on.

The bird population studies by BNHS has also revealed  the role of Chilika in maintaining the global population of at least six ducks species,  Though they have been associated with CDA and the Forest Department for last one and half decade mainly in census of bird population and in ringing the migratory birds to establish the flyways, a permanent Regional Centre is now being established to take up the activities on a continuous basis to help the planners in better management of the Lake ecology and its wintering guests.

The fallowing studies are planned at the Center:

1. Documenting the species-wise population in major congregation sites at the different sectors of the lake.

2. Bird ringing, color flagging and neck collar studies.

3. Sample collection for the AI and other avian disease to monitor the healthy status of Nalabana

4. Impart training for the CDA, wildlife staff and other volunteers on bird migration and waterbird counting techniques.

5. Bring out a book on “Chilika Bird Migration Atlas  ” based on the ringing recoveries, Satellite tracking, color flagging studies  carried out  in Chilika from 2001-2018 and publish scientific papers in international journals.

6. Breeding bird surveys to understand the status of historical nesting sites  and establishment  new nesting sites for the ground nesting birds

7. Monitoring the success of the management recommendations suggested during the previous studies and the role of migratory birds in enriching the Chilika through quano deposition

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