Odisha’s Chilika Lake recorded 11.42 lakh migratory birds of 190 species in the annual bird census. It is the lake’s highest number in the last two decades. According to Chilika Development Authority chief Susanta Nanda, as many as 111 wildlife officials, teamed up in 21 groups, completed the bird census in five ranges of Asia’s largest brackish water lagoon.

The migratory bird count was done in Puri’s Satpada, Balugaon and Tangi in Khurda and Ganjam’s Rambha.

According to Nanda, the lake had recorded 11.04 lakh birds last year and 10.47 lakh birds in 2019.

“Wetland ecosystems are highly resilient and bounce bank to normalcy in the shortest possible time. Removal of 160 sq km of encroachment in 2018-19, has resulted in a record arrival of birds. Population of avifauna is the best indicator of health of a wetland ecosystem. Thanks to all the staff involved in making Chilika a safe haven for migratory birds,” he said as quoted by Hindustan Times.

The lake is spread across an area of 1,100 sq km. It attracts largest gathering of winter migratory birds in India. Numerous species of bird, with some of them endangered, can be spotted at Chilika Lake in the winter season. Birds from countries like Russia, Himalayas, Mongolia and Central and Southeast Asia flock to the lagoon in huge numbers during the migratory season.