Kendrapada: Forest officials have sighted 179 mangrove pitta birds during a census conducted in Rajnagar Mangrove Forest (Wildlife) Division.
The mangrove pitta is a small mangrove bird, measuring 18 to 20 cm in length and weighing 90 to 120 grams and found in coastal mangrove forests of India.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has categorized and evaluated the species and has listed it as “Near Threatened”.
Rajnagar Mangrove Forest (wildlife) division DFO Gopinath Sudarshan Yadav Sunday said the birds were signed during a survey conducted for the first time throughout Rajnagar Mangrove Forest Division April 14 last.
This census was conducted under the guidance of the Chief Conservator of Forest Manoj Nair.
The Birds were spotted through the direct and indirect sighting methods in the day-long census, informed Yadav.
The census mainly focused on the mangrove patches all along the coasts of Kendrapara and Jagatsingpur districts.
The aim of the exercise was to collect information about the distribution, habitat and breeding of mangrove Pitta along the coastal mangroves and set up a benchmark for subsequent population analysis, the DFO said.
He said a total of 32 teams, consisting of 3 forest personnel in each team, were deployed in 32 pre-identified segments for the census.
The DFO said the census was carried out by point count method either by walking in the forest or using country boats in the creeks. The highest concentration has been found in the mangroves near the Mahipura river mouth inside the national park during the census.