Deogarh in Odisha attracts migratory birds in hundreds including the Red-Crested Pochard (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@@PrakashJavdekar)
With the number of migratory birds soaring in the backwaters of Deogarh district in Odisha, there is a spurt in the tourists visiting the area to watch them. This has prompted the authorities to promote avitourism in the region in a big way.
These winged guests are flocking in Barkote, Reamal and Tileibani blocks of the district which are flooded by the Renegali dam backwaters for breeding and spending the winter season.
In the bird census that was conducted in the area after dividing the complete stretch of backwater into 18 sectors, 10,028 birds of 21 species were counted. Among the birds identified during the counting were Red-Crested Pochard, Lesser Whistling Ducks, Little Cormorant and Asian Openbill.
The increase in the bird population has prompted tourists — both local and from other parts of the State and India, to visit the area for bird watching in large numbers. To keep up this trend and encourage it, the Forest Department has initiated steps to popularise this hobby.
Talking to the media, Magar Dhanaji Raoso, Divisional Forest Officer of Deogarh said: “We are currently working on a proposal for implementation of community-based avitourism in areas surrounding the backwaters. A survey is underway to identify the villages located on the banks of the backwaters.”
For promoting tourism, besides the local community, women self-help groups will be roped in. The people chosen will be trained on avitourism so that they can guide tourists and contribute towards bird conservation. These women will be paid for their work.
The authorities also intend to increase the amenities for the tourists to make their visit comfortable.