Krushnaprasad: Even as it is a fortnight since winter has set in here, few birds have arrived in Chilika and its adjoining areas in Puri district, a report said.
The Chilika lake is the largest brackish water lake in Asia which comes alive in winter with a cacophony of migratory birds. The whole area of the lake and its adjoining areas of Krushnaprasad turn into a paradise as the migratory birds arrive in large numbers.
The arrival of the birds draws tourists to the place. However, this year the number has dropped due to a change in climatic conditions. Observers claimed that the low-pressure triggered heavy rainfall in the month of October is the reason behind the delay in arrival of birds.
While fewer birds are seen hovering over the lake, very few were seen in Parikuda, Gurubai, Nuapada, Sipia, Anlakuda, Tichhini, Panchakudi, Banamal, Chateikona, Solakudi, Panda, Chikhili, Chitrakota, Khatiakudi, the areas near the coast of Chilika lake.
Moreover, areas under this block are experiencing a near-drought condition due to germination blight affecting the paddy crops further delaying the arrival of birds, the observers claimed. This has also hit the business in the area as the number of tourists is expected to come down.
The birds visiting the lake come from as far as Mongolia, Siberia, Kazakhstan, Himalaya, Caspian Sea and Australia. They travel thousands of miles to reach the lake.
Birds usually start arriving at Chilika in November as it is comparatively more hospitable habitat compared to the extreme freezing conditions in Siberia, China, Japan and other countries in the northern hemisphere.
The birds often frequent open wetlands like Chilika lake due to easy availability of fish, prawns, frogs, snakes and mollusks and paddy grown on farmlands.
The Nalabana island or Nalabana bird sanctuary in Chilika is the most favoured destination of the birds as winter sets in the state from November.
The forest department has initiated several measures to ensure the safety of birds and is conducting awareness camps to prevent poaching of birds, Balugaon and Nuapada range officer Pramod Kumar Panda said.