Berhampur (Odisha), Jan 2 (PTI) The Odisha forest department has imposed restrictions on entry of visitors at Nalabana Bird Sanctuary and Mangalajodi wetlands in Chilika lake for two days from today in view of the annual bird census scheduled tomorrow. Also Read - Irrawaddy dolphin census concludes in Bhitarkanika, Gahirmatha

Entry of visitors, VIPs, research scholars and movement of boats would not be allowed across the 15.59 square kilometre area of the bird sanctuary and in the 10 sq km wetlands. Also Read - Odisha CM purposely delaying Centrally-initiated development projects: Dharmendra Pradhan

Divisional Forest Officer, Chilika Wildlife Division, Bikash Ranjan Das, said the restrictions have been imposed to ensure that the birds are not disturbed and the census is carried out smoothly. Also Read - Forest officials arrest poacher

However, no restrictions have been imposed on fishing and other activities in other parts of the 1,100 sq km Chilika lake, he said.

Around 100 enumerators who would participate in the headcount would be given binoculars and guide books for carrying out the bird census tomorrow, he said.

As many as 21 teams will be formed for the purpose and each team will consist of four to five members.

The bird census this year assumes significance as impact of climate change on migration of birds will be studied, the DFO said.

Last winter, the enumerators had found around 9.47 lakh birds belonging 167 species in the lake.

The 15.59 sq km Nalabana had been declared a bird sanctuary almost two decades ago after the winged guests were found congregating in that area in large numbers.

A large number of birds throng the Mangalajodi wetlands during the winter as well. COR SKN SBN NN SBN

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.