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  1. Nalbana Bird Sanctuary.
  2. Chilika, which lies in the Central Asian Flyway for birds, is a major stopover for migratory birds from the Arctic and the Sub-Arctic regions in the course of their onward and return migration along the east coast.
  3. Chilika At a Glance
    1. Situated on the east coast of India and connected to the Bay of Bengal through a narrow sea mouth, Chilika is also a lagoon.
    2. It is the largest brackish Water Lagoon with an estuarine character that sprawls along the east coast.
    3. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl found anywhere on the Indian sub-continent.
    4. It is one of the hotspots of biodiversity in the country, and some rare, vulnerable and endangered species listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals inhabit in the lagoon for at least part of their life cycle.
    5. On account of its rich biodiversity and ecological significance, Chilika was designated as the 1st “Ramsar Site” of India.
    6. The Nalaban Island within the lagoon is notified as a Bird Sanctuary under Wildlife (Protection) Act, the National Wetlands, mangroves and coral reefs Committee of Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India, have also identified the lagoon as a priority site for conservation and management.
    7. The water spread area of Chilika varies between 1165 to 900 sq.km during the monsoon and summer respectively.
    8. High tides near this inlet mouth drive in salt water through the channel during the dry months, from December to June.
    9. With the onset of the rains, the 52 river and rivulets falling into the Chilika are in spate, causing fresh water currents which gradually push the sea water out.
    10. Due to littoral drift prevailing along the east coast the inlet mouth constantly changes position.
    11. Chilika supports some of the largest congregation of migratory birds in the country, particularly during the winter. Flocks of migratory waterfowl arrive from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, remote parts of Russia, Kirghiz steppes of Mongolia, Central and South East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas, to feed and breed in its fertile waters.
  4. Location and Topography
    1. Chilika lies about 50 km southwest of the city of Puri from where it is connected by road up to Satpara on the eastern bank.
    2. Chilika is a shallow lagoon with an estuarine character.
  5. Lagoon Basin
    1. Siltation due to change in the land use pattern is considered to be one of the most important factors for the degradation of the Lagoon ecosystem.
  6. Environments
    1. High nutrient concentrations are often present in Lagoons as a result of both riverine nutrient inputs and effective nutrient recycling between the sediments and the water column. Lagoons are, therefore, often highly productive aquatic environments.
    2. The following features provide lagoons with their distinctive characteristics.
      1. the high degree of shelter from tidal and current action;
      2. the relatively stable salinity gradients;
  • the soft mud and/or sand substrates;
  1. the well-mixed nature of the water column through wind action;
  2. extreme shallowness;
  3. organic richness;
  • the rapidity with which they change (over geological time scales);
  • in climates with seasonal rainfall, and where major inputs of freshwater exist a pronounced seasonal variation in salinity and/or water level.
  1. The Irrawaddy Dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris), is a somewhat elusive species, found in various large rivers, bays and estuaries in South and Southeast Asia