Odisha Second National Bird Festival begins at Chilika

  • | Sunday | 27th January, 2019

BHUBANESWAR: With an aim to promote ecotourism and preservation of birds in the state, the second National Chilika Bird Festival kickstarted at Mangalajodi in Chilika on Sunday.The two-day festival, jointly organized by Odisha Tourism and Chilika Development Authority, includes photo exhibition , seminars and visit to Nalbana island inside Chilika. Around 145 bird watchers from all over India attended the event.State tourism secretary Vishal Dev said the state government aims to promote and raise awareness about Chilika being the largest repository of migratory birds in Asia through the festival.“Our focus is to make Odisha as one of the hotspots for ecotourism. We plan to make this event bigger and better in future,” Dev said.Mangalajodi, in the last a few years, has attracted attention of birdwatchers and tourists for its unique flora and fauna. Over one million migratory birds belonging to 181 different species were spotted in the brackish water lake this year, said official source.“We are recognizing the efforts by the locals in preserving Chilika lake and want to empower them by helping them with livelihood in form of sustainable tourism,” state state forest secretary Suresh Mohapatra.A book titled ‘Fish and Shellfish Diversity and its Sustainable Management in Chilika Lake’ by the Chilika Development Authority was also released by state tourism minister Ashok Panda on the occasion.The minister also gave away the National Chilika Bird Festival award to Mangalajodi Ecotourism Group for their active involvement in bird protection.This year Chilika received record number of birds footfall because of the removal of illegal gheries from the lake by the forest department.

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