Published on: April 19, 2023
Mangrove pitta birds
Why in news? In the first-ever census of mangrove pitta birds carried out in two coastal districts of Odisha, 179 such birds were sighted.
- 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 first census of mangrove pitta (Pitta megharencha) birds was focused on the mangrove patches all along the coasts of Kendrapara and Jagatsingpur
- Information had been collected on the distribution, habitat and breeding of the birds along the coastal mangroves.
- “In this exercise, a total of 32 teams were deployed in 32 pre-identified segments. 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 highest concentration of the birds has been found in the mangroves near the Mahipura river mouth inside the Bhitarkanika National Park.
- The objective of the census is to record the growth pattern of these birds.
About Mangrove Pitta birds:
- Mangrove pitta are colorful birds which have black head with brown crown, white throat, greenish upper parts, buff under-parts and reddish vent area.
- It feeds on crustaceans, mollusks and insects
- They are nearly threatened species found in a few pockets of eastern India, including Bhitarkanika in Odisha and the Sundarbans in West Bengal.
About Bhitarkanika National Park
- Bhitarkanika National Park is the second-largest Mangrove ecosystem in India. It is inundated with waters from rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra and Patasala forming a unique ecosystem.
- It is the breeding place for the Salt Water Crocodiles. The Gahirmatha Beach which forms the boundary of the sanctuary in the east is the largest colony of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.