Okhla Bird Sanctuary reopens with social distancing measures in place for visitorsUpdated: Sep 15, 2020 23:26 IST
The Okhla Bird Sanctuary — home to 350 species of birds — reopened on Tuesday, after being shut for five months. The forest department installed new signboards, urging visitors to maintain social distancing.
The sanctuary was closed in March, in the wake of the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic when a nationwide lockdown was announced to stop the spread of the virus.
“We are only letting visitors in with masks and thermal screening. There was a total of 14 visitors on the first day. This is not surprising because it is presently the off-season. The period from November to March usually receives the highest number of visitors. As a precautionary measure, we have installed signboards, along the trails, urging people not to take off their masks and to maintain social distancing,” said Arvind Mishra, range forest officer of Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
The sanctuary is spread over an area of 400 hectares, of which about 60% is covered by a water body. The sanctuary recorded 21,061 water birds belonging to 115 species, as per the annual census conducted by the forest department in February 2020 for the birding year, 2019-20.
According to the officials of the sanctuary, the migratory birds usually start arriving by October, while their strength reaches the peak by December.