Part of: Prelims and GS-III -Conservation
Context Chilika Lake saw a million birds, including the uncommon Mongolian gull, visiting the waterbody this year.
- Last year, the count in the Chilika was over 12 lakh.
- The decrease is attributed to high water level and presence of water in cultivated fields in adjoining areas. Water birds love to flock to large mudflats.
- Chilika is Asia’s largest and world’s second largest lagoon.
- It is the largest wintering ground for migratory birds on the Indian sub-continent and is home to a number of threatened species of plants and animals.
- In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- Major attraction at Chilika is Irrawaddy dolphins which are often spotted off Satpada Island.
- The large Nalabana Island (Forest of Reeds) in the lagoon area was declared a bird sanctuary in 1987.
- Kalijai Temple – Located on an island in the Chilika Lake.
- Chilika Lake hosts birds migrating from thousands of miles away from the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, remote parts of Russia, Mongolia, Central and Southeast Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas.