A team of scientists from Japan Tuesday began studying the underwater behaviour of the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin in the world-famous Chilika lake, a senior state official said.
“The two-member team from Tokyo University have made an assessment on the feasibility of installing a permanent observation station at the mouth of the lake. They would carry out the experiment till March 17,” Ajit Pattnaik, chief executive of the Chilika Development Authority, told IANS.
The Chilika Development Authority has been conducting a long term study on the behaviour of dolphins in collaboration with the Tokyo University since 2006.
According to the census carried out earlier this year, the lake is home to about 145 Irrawaddy dolphins.
“During the last census, one unanswered question was whether the dolphins were migrating from lake to sea or vice-versa. To understand this behaviour, the installation of a permanent observation station at the mouth of the lake was proposed,” Pattnaik said.
The lagoon, about 100 km from Bhubaneswar, is spread over Puri, Khordha and Ganjam districts of the state along the east coast. It is one of the largest brackish water wetlands of Asia.
Chilika is also home to the largest congregation of migratory birds in the country.