New species of otter, near-threatened duck spotted in Odisha's Chilika Lake

Two uncommon species, the red-necked stint and the woolly-necked stork, were also found in the marshlands of Parikud and Mangalajodi areas of the lagoon

New species of otter, near-threatened duck spotted in Odisha's Chilika Lake
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PTI

Two new species the near-threatened ferruginous duck and Eurasian otter - have been recently spotted in Chilika Lake, Asia's largest brackish water lagoon, according to a survey.


Two uncommon species, the red-necked stint and the woolly-necked stork, were also found in the marshlands of Parikud and Mangalajodi areas of the lagoon.

This year, 156 dolphins were sighted, a good number of them in the Rambha Bay area.

For the first time, near-threatened ferruginous ducks and a group of Eurasian otters were spotted in the lagoon during the 2022 Flora and Fauna Survey in Chilika Lake..., an official of the Chilika Development Authority (CDA) said.

The lake has re-established itself as the one of the hotspots of biodiversity and shelters for endangered species, he said.


Dolphins are now colonising new areas of the Chilika lagoon, a unique assemblage of marine, brackish and freshwater eco-system with estuarine characters.

The lagoon houses about 155-165 dolphins and 10.5 lakhs water birds, representing 105 different species.

Irrawaddy dolphins in India are protected under the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972, and the IUCN Red List, the report said, adding, the annual survey was conducted by the Transact Survey Method' followed worldwide.

On water birds, the report said that about 1,000 near-threatened ferruginous ducks were sighted for the first time in the lagoon during the survey, besides 2,000 greater flamingos at Nalabana.

The findings are favourable, since the water bird census conducted by the Chilika Wildlife Division during the first week of January, had put the number at 10,36,220 of 103 species, it said.

A total of 2,86,929 birds of 75 species were spotted at the Nalabana sanctuary alone during the one-day survey.

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