Kendrapara (Orissa): The number of migratory birds which visit the Bhitarkanika national park in Orissa`s Kendrapara district has dropped by around 60 per cent this season, officials said on Monday.
In 2009, 1.20 lakh winged visitors had thronged the famous ramsar wetland site but the figure dropped to 45,610 this year, a recent head-count has revealed.
"It`s the unstable and erratic weather condition that has led to the drop in numbers. Formation of low pressure and depression on more than two occasions might have distracted the birds in their miles-long flight to Bhitarkanika," said Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, divisional forest officer of Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division.
The survey also shows that birds like the Indian Skimmer, accorded the highly-endangered status, skipped their temporary sojourn to Bhitarkanika this year.
Forest officials said the drop in birds` census figure is a matter of concern and experts are ascertaining the exact cause.
Several species, who trans-migrated from Siberia, Ladakh, Lake Manosarovar and the Himalayan region, were found to be fatigued after their long flight, they said.
Prominent species, who have made Bhitarkanika their winter home are brahmin duck, bar-headed geese, godwin, pintail, painted stork, seagulls, common teal, tawny eagle, osprey.