• Country’s first mangrove pitta bird census undertaken in Bhitarkanika, Odisha.
  • Mangrove pitta birds are a nearly threatened species found in a few pockets of eastern India, including Bhitarkanika in Odisha and the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
  • The census was carried out by point count method, either by walking in the forest or using country boats in the creeks.
  • A total of 179 individual mangrove pitta birds were counted.
  • The objective of the census is to record the growth pattern of these birds.
  • These birds are yet to be conferred endangered category.
  • The highest concentration of the birds has been found in the mangroves near the Mahipura river mouth inside the Bhitarkanika National Park,” the DFO said.

About the bird:

  • The mangrove pitta is a species of passerine bird in the family Pittidae.
  • It is native to the eastern Indian Subcontinent and western Southeast Asia.
  • Its range extends from India to Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • It is found in mangrove and nipa palm forests where it feeds on crustaceans, mollusks and insects.

The mangrove pitta is native to:

Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand (primarily the west coast of the southern Thai peninsula).

Natural habitat:

  • Its natural habitat is specialised and restriction to subtropical or tropical mangrove forests and Nipa palm stands.
  • It is threatened by habitat loss.
 Bhitarkanika National park

●      Bhitarkanika National Park is located  in the Kendrapara district in Odisha.

●      It was designated in 1998 and obtained the status of a Ramsar site in 2002.

●      The area is also been designated as second Ramsar site of the State after the Chilika Lake.

●      It is surrounded by Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary  and Gahirmatha Beach and Marine Sanctuary.

●      The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Pathsala.

●      It is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India after Sunderbans.


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