5 Feb 2022.
The Chilika Development Authority recently held the annual survey at the Chilika lake recently. The survey was all about the flora and fauna in the lake. According to the survey, the lake has more than 33% of sea grass area of the country. Sea grass is under water plants. They live in or close to the sea.
Highlights of the survey
- Five species of sea grass were witnessed. They are Halophila beckari, Halophila ovate, Halophila ovalis, Halodule pinifolia, Holodule uninervis.
- The sea grass vegetation was found in 172 square kilo metre. This is 169 square kilometre more as compared to 2020.
Implication of sea grass in the lake
- The sea grass plays a major role in water purification. It purifies the water by carbon sequestration. It retains high amounts of carbon. They are one of the good bio – indicators of an aquatic ecosystem.
- If sea grass is in good health, it means the water clarity is good, salinity regime is in good condition and the water nutrients are at right proportion. The sea grass serves as breeding spot for many fish.
How did the growth of sea grass increase?
Because of the efforts of the Chilika Development Authority, the sea grass cover in the lake increased. The CDA removed the illegal prawn enclosures. These enclosures obstructed the growth of the sea grasses.
Survey about the Irrawaddy dolphins
- The Irrawaddy dolphins are endangered species. There were 150 Irrawaddy dolphins in the lake.
- The survey also found colonizing areas of the dolphins. These dolphins were found mainly in the Rambha bay.
Survey about the water birds
- The survey reported 10.5 lakhs of water birds. There were 75 species of water birds in Nalabana sanctuary. The total number of birds in the sanctuary was 2,86,929. 2000 Greater Falmingos were reported.
- Ferrunginous ducks that are listed as near threatened were also found.
Survey about the Eurasian Otter
For the first time, Eurasian Otters were spotted in the lake. They are carnivorous predators.