Wlidlife in Odisha
The state of Odisha which constitutes a part of the Eastern Ghat ranges of India has quite a diversified topography consisting of hills, valleys, dense evergreen forests, scrub jungles, estuaries and man-made forests. The forest area of the state is approximately 30 per cent of its geographical area. The diversified ecological riches and environmental situation provide with excellent habitat for a very rich and diversified fauna. Wildlife is very rich and in most of the cases, exciting. Odisha’s wildlife parks are a source of great attraction not only to Indian tourists, they also attract tourists from all over the globe. The Similipal National Park, Chilika, Bhitarkanika and Gahirmatha wildlife sanctuaries are already on the World map. Apart from them, Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary, Debrigarh, Hadgarh, Kotgarh and Sunabeda sanctuaries are also excellent conservation areas popular with tourists who wish to enjoy the wild, un-spoilt environment of nature.
Bhitarkanika National Park
Wlidlife destination in Odisha
A Considered as a mini Amazon, Bhitarkanika National Park is one of the most impressive wildlife sanctuaries of Asia. With its outstandingly unique biodiversity, and captivating natural beauty comprising the mangroves, an array of domestic as well as migratory birds and turtles, twisty water courses, the frightening estuarine crocodile, Bhitarkanika is the second largest Mangrove ecosystem in India. read more…
Chilika (or Chilka) lake is the largest lake of the country. The lake is surrounded with scenic beauty of nature. The naval training center is also situated nearby. Several types of migratory birds visit Chilika with advent of different seasons (mostly Winter). The lake is declared as a ‘Bird Sanctuary’ by the state govt. Inside the lake there are numerous islands, and one such picturesque island is called Kalijai, which hosts ‘Kalijai Temple’, an important place of worship for the surrounding population. Read more…
Chilika Lake, indenting into the Odisha coastline on India’s eastern seaboard, turns into a global carnival of birds, each winter. Migratory waterfowl, by the thousands, jostle for this prime wetland real-estate with resident birds, amid a great cacophony of calls. But on the fringes of this great lake, there has been, for long, an uneasy calm. As night falls, sleepy villages wake up: dark shapes slinking off, gliding in canoes, crush water lily pods into tasty morsels lacing it with a deadly poison, Furatin. Pintails & Whistling Teals, Gadwalls and Godwits feast, on what becomes their last supper, and die by the hundreds; canoe-loads of bird meat are ready by dawn for markets far and near. Furatin is the upstart: it’s upstaged the convention of nets, traps and guns. But the killing is an ancient ritual, almost folklore but for the meat fresh and sold, that has visited Chilika faithfully like its moonlit winters and bird flocks.
Chilika’s famous Nalabana Bird Sanctuary has been declared off-limits to people till January 8. While tourists are not allowed inside, beginning Thursday, even Government officials will not be permitted entry till the Chilika Wildlife Division completes the census operation. The bird census will be held on January 7-8. The Wildlife Wing of the Forest and Environment Department have already issued an order declaring the sanctuary out of bounds to all and sundry.
Satokosia gorge, where the nature in its primitive wild disposition houses all the phenomena including flora and fauna is a rare place. For, it remains untouched by the lust of civilization.
If the wild animals including Sambar, barking deer and wild boar have made the sanctuary their home, leopards and Royal Bengal Tigers stalk the area in their inimitable style.
Up tin the forest near Barmul lies a cave where a 16-feet King Cobra leads a majestic life with his family. The site of the snake king slithering from a tree trunk and drinking from the gorge below where crystal clear water gushes through would send a chill down the spine of any adventurer.
The tranquility of the nature is broken at times by the sweet chirping of rare birds like Horn bills, Fishing Eagles, Crested Serpent Eagles, Racket-tailed Drango, Hill Hyenas (Sunakani an Rupakani) while one can see the rare flying squirrels, Malabar giant squirrels and reptiles like Star Tortoise, King Cobra, Rocket Python, Monitor Lizard, Gharial and Mugar Crocodile. Sitalpani is a spot atop a hill where ice cold water is available throughout the year. It also has sthe costliest timber speciesâ€”Rosewood.
At Badmul near Chhamundia, the Mahanadi Wildlife Division has constructed an observatory where one gets a panoramic view of the spectacular gorge and the Amazonian expense of the Mahanadi . Eight Km form Badmul lies Kuturi, where the Habitat development for natural breeding centre for animals is located.
Established by the division, the sanctuary has a water tank, salt lick and fodder style grass, Napier grass and orchard. full protection is provided to wild animals who visit the centre?
There are also tree-top manchans and a cottage for the tourists to view to movement wild animals at night. The part of the Sanctuary situated on the northern part of the Mahanadi , includes Mahanadi Reserve Forests (RF) of Nayagarh district and Nandagadu PRF of Boudh District.
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary lies in the Baragarh district of Odisha, India. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 347 sq km and is at a distance of 50 kms from the Sambalpur town. The sanctuary is located near the highest dam in the world the Hirakud Dams. The sanctuary is spread between the forest of Debrigarh and Loahara amidst the hills of Barapahada.
Karalpat is famous for its charming wildlife. Tiger, sambar, leopard, gaur and chital abound in this forest tracts. The most suitable time to visit Karalpat Sanctuart is from October to February.
This small but beautiful sanctuary is located close to and about 12 km. from the district town of Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district covering a dense patch of lush green dry deciduous forest.A beautiful waterfall near this river on the outskirts of this sanctuary called Phulljharan has been developed as a picnic spot for the local visitors and draws large number of visitors from far of places.
World famous as one of the world’s most important rookeries for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, Gahirmatha is a beach that separates the Bhitarkanika mangroves from the Bay of Bengal. Though there are two other rookeries in Odisha have been located on the mouth of rivers Rushikulya and Devi, the rare phenomenon of mass mating and nesting Olive Ridley sea turtles seen as in Gahirmatha is hardly seen anywhere else. For this, the stretch of water body from old light house near Batighar to Maipuca River mouth is declared as ‘Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary’ in September, 1997.
Comprising 1408.0 Sq. Km. of water body and 27.0 Sq. Km. of land mass including reserve forests, mud ?ats and accreted sand bars, the total area of Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary is 1435.0 Sq. Km. including the beach is adjacent to the Bay of Bengal as a part of Sanctuary.
From early November every year, Olive Ridley sea turtles migrate for mating and nesting from the coastal water of Srilanka in the Indian Ocean to Gahirmatha. Generally nesting happens from mid of February for two weeks or more and hatching takes place sometime in the ?rst week of April.
The mass nesting behavior of Olive Ridley sea turtles is known as ‘Arribada’. A female Olive Ridley lays 100 to 180 eggs in a scoop of 45 cm depth and ?lls up the pit with sand and shoves the hole with the help of its body weight incubated by sun and the metabolic heat in the sand, eggs hatch after 50 to 60 days, during night or in the predawn period. Oriented by the re?ection of stars on sea water or by the brighter horizon after the emergence, the hatchlings immediately head en masse towards the open sea and swim deep into the sea until they reach the sea current.
Turtles crawling out from the sea and digging the pits beyond the high tide mark to lay eggs and occasionally coming up on the surface to breathe and then diving back in to the emerald green waters whiling swimming back, and the march of hatchlings towards the sea in early dawn is a spectacular sight that attracts entire world to this natural rookery of Olive Ridleys to experience the phenomenon.
Gahirmatha coast has the annual nesting ?gure between one hundred to ?ve hundred thousand, each year. These turtles are listed as ‘endangered’ as per IUCN Red Data Book and are protected under the ‘Migratory Species Convention‘ and CITES (Convention of international Trade on wildlife Flora and Fauna). As natural nesting beach for millions of turtles, Gahirmatha coast has huge signi?cance on turtle conservation.
As per Government records around 7.11 and 7.41 lakhs of Olive Ridleys rested-at Gahirmatha in 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 whereas 2.43 lakh nested during 2003-2004. This population represents about 50% of the total world population of Olive Ridleys, and about 90% of the Indian population of sea turtles.
Tours to Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary are popular with tourists who plan to visit Bhubaneswar, the capital of Odisha and its nearby areas. Located in the highlands of Khurdha and Cuttack and that once had covered Bhubaneswar too, the Chandaka forest was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1982 to protect its dwindling population of natural vegetation and elephants.