Puri/Mayurbhanj: The annual bird and crocodile census at Puri’s Brahmagiri and Similipal respectively began today.
Reportedly, the range has been divided into four zones and the counting has begun from 5 am. A team of five bird experts led by the Puri Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) along with staff and local volunteers has been engaged in the annual census.
As many as 25 teams have been deployed in a total of five ranges of the Puri Division. Birds are being counted in the Brahmagiri range, the Balukhand range, the Gop range, the Astaranga range and the Konark range. Bird counting are also underway in Kakatpur and Astaranga areas. There are 20 forest officials engaged in five teams.
While two teams were counting birds inside the river and reservoir, three teams are engaged in counting operations on the ground.
On the other hand, the annual census of crocodiles in the rivers and streams in Similipal and foothills in Mayurbhanj district has also started from today for three days. The crocodiles are being counted on the banks of the Khairi, Budhabalanga, Kharkai rivers, especially in the outskirts of Similipal.
The census is being conducted by two or three teams in each range. Forest officials from North and South Similipal have been engaged in crocodile counting.
It is to be noted that a fewer number of birds have arrived at Chilika this year as compared to last year. As many as 10,74,173 birds arrived at Chilika this year. The number of species has also reduced.
There were 183 species of birds this year, while last year there were 190 species of birds. As many as 10,36,220 exotic birds of 107 species have arrived in Chilika this year. The number of exotic birds has reduced by 68000 this year.
Only 3,58,889 birds of eight species have been spotted at Nalabana Bird Sanctuary in Puri.