"Patrolling will be intensified in the next two to three days to prevent poaching in the lagoon", divisional forest officer (Chilika) B P Acharya said.

At least 17 camps have been set up in the lake, to be manned by over 50 forest personnel. Police and locals will also take part in patrolling, he said.

Meanwhile, police have been deployed in Sorana, identified as one of the vulnerable areas for poaching, sources said.

"Wildlife personnel have kept strict vigil on the movement and activities of habitual offenders," the DFO said. Poachers target the birds which are sold in the markets of Balugaon, Berhampur and Bhubaneswar.

Wildlife officials said they have not recorded a single poaching case in the current season, even though thousands of birds of different species have arrived.

Most of the birds have congregated in the 16.59 sq km Nalabana Island in the lake, declared as a bird sanctuary.


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