|Central coordinates||85o 28.80' East 19o 42.60' North|
|IBA criteria||A1, A4i, A4iii|
|Altitude||0 - 50m|
|Year of IBA assessment||2004|
Site description Chilika Lake is an estuarine lagoon, shallow throughout its spread of 1,16,500 ha. It is the largest brackish water wetland in India (Kar and Sahu 1993). The Government of India notified Chilika Lake as a Ramsar site in 1981. The pear-shaped lake is connected to the Bay of Bengal at its northeast end and is subject to minor tidal fluctuations. It receives water from rivers Daya and Bhargavi, and several small streams. It is the largest wintering ground for migratory waterfowl in India (Anon. 2000). According to historical evidence, Chilika Lake was part of the Bay of Bengal about 6,000 years ago. Merchant ships used to travel from Chilika to South East Asia (Trisal and Chauhan 1998). Over a period of time, a sand spit barrier formed due to the littoral drift of the sea, as well as silt deposits carried by adjoining rivers into the wetland, separating it from the Bay of Bengal. Several islands are located in the lagoon covering an area of 22,300 ha. The Nalabana Island of the Chilika Lake was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1987. It has an area of 1,553 ha. Nalabana literally means “forest of reeds”. It is covered with aquatic plants, predominant species being Phragmites karka. During monsoon, Nalabana is entirely under water, with only reeds and watchtower visible. With the onset of summer the island gradually emerges. The major flora comprises of aquatic macrophytes such as Potamogeton pectinatus, Najas faveolata, N. graminea, Halophila ovalis, Ruppia maritima, Phragmites karka, Scirpus littoralis, Cyperus sp. and Salicornia brachiata. The algal forms include Chaetomorpha linum, Enteromorpha intestinalis, Oscillatoria laetevineus, Cladophora glomerata, Ulva lactuca; and the less common Gracillaria verrucosa.
|Species||Season||Period||Population estimate||Quality of estimate||IBA Criteria||IUCN Category|
|Northern Pintail Anas acuta||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Baer's Pochard Aythya baeri||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Lesser Whistling-duck Dendrocygna javanica||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Ruddy Shelduck Tadorna ferruginea||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Gadwall Mareca strepera||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Eurasian Wigeon Mareca penelope||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|Lesser Adjutant Leptoptilos javanicus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis||resident||2004||present||-||A1, A4i||Near Threatened|
|Pallas's Fish-eagle Haliaeetus leucoryphus||resident||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Spoon-billed Sandpiper Calidris pygmaea||winter||2004||present||-||A1||Critically Endangered|
|Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa||winter||2004||present||-||A4i||Near Threatened|
|Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis||non-breeding||2004||present||-||A1||Vulnerable|
|Brown-headed Gull Larus brunnicephalus||-||2004||present||-||A4i||Least Concern|
|A4iii Species group - waterbirds||unknown||2004||20,000 individuals||unknown||A4iii|
|Protected area||Designation||Area (ha)||Relationship with IBA||Overlap with IBA (ha)|
|Chilika Lake||Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar)||116,500||unknown||0|
|Chilka (Nalaban)||Sanctuary||1,553||is identical to site||1,553|
|IUCN habitat||Habitat detail||Extent (% of site)|
|Land-use||Extent (% of site)|
|nature conservation and research||-|
|Notes: Nature conservation and research|
|Notes: Tourism and recreation|
Acknowledgements Key contributors: S. Balachandran, Biswajit Mohanty and Ajit Patnaik.
Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.
Anonymous (2002) Conservation of Chilika - an overview. Chilika Wetland International Newsletter 1:3-5.
Balachandran, S., Rahmani, A. R. and Sathiyaselvam, P. (2002a) Habitat evaluation of Chilika Lake with special reference to birds as Bioindicators. Half yearly Report (December 2001 to June 2002) Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
Balachandran, S., Rahmani, A. R. and Sathiyaselvam, P. (2002b). Habitat evaluation of Chilika Lake with special reference to birds as Bioindicators. Half yearly Report (July to December 2002) Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
Balachandran, S., Rahmani, A. R. and Sathiyaselvam, P. (2003) Habitat evaluation of Chilika Lake with special reference to birds as Bioindicators. Annual Report, Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai.
Kar, S. K. and Sahu, H. K. (1993) Preliminary study on ecology of aquatic birds in Chilika lake, Orissa. In: Bird Conservation: Strategies for the nineties and beyond. (Eds. Verghese, A., Sridhar, S. and Chakravarthy, V. K.) Ornithological Society of India, Bangalore. Pp. 62-64.
Trisal, C. L. and Chauhan, M. (1998) Chilika Lake: Guidelines for Ecotourism Development. Wetlands International- South Asia, New Delhi, India. Pp 54.
Wetlands International (2002) Waterbirds Population Estimates: Third Edition. Wetlands International Global Series No. 12. Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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