Bantala: The Satkosia forest officials will begin the annual bird census of winged creatures inside Satkosia Sanctuary of Angul district January 3. Special teams will also carry out crocodile census from January 9.
The exercise in one of the largest sanctuaries of Odisha will be undertaken by at least 52 forest personnel. The officials have been divided into 13 special teams including research scholars, bird lovers and forest officials for the census.
The census will help ascertain the number of birds coming to Satkosia. A training programme was conducted for the special teams to participate in the bird census at Tikarpada Dak Bungalow.
Satkosia DFO Rama Swamy P, ACF Suvendu Behera, Mahanadi wildlife division ACF Bijay Mohanty and Athamallik ACF Rajendra Gochayat were present during the training. The census will be undertaken on a stretch of 22-km jointly by Satkosia, Mahanadi wildlife division, Athmallik and Athgarh forest department personnel.
The census will be conducted from Tikarpada to north of Binikei, from Binikei to Pataka, Marada to south of Sitalpani river, Sitalpani to south of Harbhanga, Tikarpada to north of Katarang ghat, Katarang ghat to south of Baliput, south of Marada to Kuturi, Badamula to Kuturi, south of Harbhanga to Aida, north of Harbhanga to Aida and Baliput to Chakragad and Athamallik.
Forest guard Annapurna Sahu, Prasant Bhoi, Sanjay Kumar Rout, Manash Ranjan Sahu and ACF Behera will lead the special teams in Athamallik.
Jilinda ranger Harischandra Pradhan, Purunakot ranger Gajendra Behera, Tikarpada ranger Jayant kumar Patnaik and Pamphasar Brajabandhu Patnaik will lead the special teams in Satkosia.
In Mahanadi wildlife division, the teams will be led by DFO Ashupragyan Das, Chamundia ranger Benudhar Behera and ACF Bijay Mohanty. Similarly, Narsinghpur ranger Mohanty will head the census in Athgarh division.
For crocodile census, the officials have decided to cover all canals, ponds and dams inside Satkosia and Mahanadi wildlife division.
The forest officials have barred tourists and fishermen from venturing into the forests until the census was over so that the birds and crocodiles are not disturbed. Forest officials have also warned of action against people who enter the forests in violation of rules.