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Wildlife in Orissa

The state of Orissa has a geographical area of 155,707 square km. It comprises an actual forest cover of 47,033 square km. In order to provide proper protection to the wildlife and their habitat, 18 wildlife sanctuaries and national parks have been established under the provisions of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. These protected areas constitute 10.37% of the total forest area and 4.1% of the total geographical area of the state. 19 species of amphibians, 110 species of reptiles including three species of crocodiles, 473 species of birds and 86 species of mammals have been recorded in the state. Some of the famous wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in Orissa are Simlipal National Park, Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary, Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary, Badarama Wildlife Sanctuary, Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary and Chandka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary.

Simlipal National Park

Simlipal National Park is the main national park located in the Mayurbhanj district in Orissa. This park has dense green forests, hilly terrain, broad open valleys, plateaus, grasslands, sal trees, waterfalls, gorges and rich bio-diversity. It extends over an area of 2750 square km at the heart of which is one of the India's earliest tiger reserves covering about 300 square km. The topography consists of semi-evergreen to dry deciduous forests, including 1076 species of plants and 94 varieties of orchids. About 42 species of mammals, 231 species of birds and 29 species of reptiles make this place their habitat. The wildlife in this park include tiger, elephant,

leopard, wolf, chital, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, gaur, flying squirrel and variety of birds like hill myna, parakeets, hornbills, peacock, etc. Simlipal is the richest watershed in Orissa and feed several perennial rivers like Budhabalanga, Khadkei, Khairi-Bhandan, Westdeo, Salandi etc. Simlipal is a unique and delightful destination for scientists, nature lovers, students and tourists.

Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary

Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary is unique in geomorphology in India. Here Mahanadi has out right across the Eastern Ghats and has formed a magnificent gorge. Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the districts of Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Boudh and is an attractive place for scientist and nature lovers. Satkosia gorge wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 796 square km. and has sylvan beauty and excellent natural features. The major attraction of the area is 22 km. long gorge, known as Satkosia gorge which divides the area into two distinct parts. The area supports moist deciduous forest, dry deciduous forests and moist peninsular sal forests. Tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, mouse deer, nilgai, chousingha, sloth bear, wild dog, varieties of resident and migratory birds and reptiles including gharial, mugger crocodile, fresh water turtle, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes can be seen in the sanctuary.

Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary
Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary, Orissa

Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary is situated amidst lush green forest along the banks of Kanjia lake, about 20 kms. from Bhubaneshwar. This wildlife sanctuary is set in a beautiful natural setting and one of the finest parks with natural enclosures. The park has an open Lion Safari and first zoo in the world, where gharials and black panthers are bred in captivity. This wildlife sanctuary is also known for the white tigers. Leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, bear, monkey and several other types of mammals can also be seen at close quarters in the natural surroundings. It boasts of a beautiful botanical garden too. Other tourist

attractions in the park include nocturnal animal house, toy train ride, rope-way ride across a natural lake and boating in the lake.

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Kendrapada district. Bhitarkanika is surrounded by rivers such as Brahmani, Baitarani and Dhamara and criss-crossed by several creeks and creeklets. The area supports rich bio-diversity including 63 species of dense mangroves, estuarine crocodiles, the rare white crocodile, largest Indian lizards, poisonous and non-poisonous snakes like king cobra and python, 217 varieties of resident and migratory birds and various mammals including spotted deer, sambar, wild boar, fishing cat, jungle cat, otter etc. The sea beach, borderding the sanctuary attracts thousands of olive ridley sea turtles for mass nesting during the winter months. Bhitarkanika mangrove ecosystem is unique of its kind and a best reptile refuge in the entire country.

Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary

Chilka is the largest brackish water wetland, situated in the east coast in the district of Puri. This vast lagoon is studded with small fascinating islands and sandy beaches interspersed with casuarina grooves along the Bay of Bengal. Chilka is a vast and picturesque lake and famous for rich bio-diversity including the migratory birds and has been acknowledged as a "Ramsar site". About 167 species of resident and migratory birds including flamingo, white bellied sea eagle, brahminy kite, spotbilled pelican, barheaded goose, openbilled stork, spoonbill, brahimny duck, wigeon, pintail, shoveller, ibis, stilt, heron, egret,avocet, gull, tern, king fisher etc can be seen in this lake. Besides this, the wetland provides home for endangered Irrawady dolphin. The sunrise and sunset in Chilka are unforgettable.

Badarama Wildlife Sanctuary

Ushakothi, also known as the Badarama Wildlife sanctuary is located in the Sambalpur district, about 48 km. from Sambalpur on the NH-6 under Bamra Forest Division. This wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 130 square km. Its prime location in western Orissa with hilly undulating areas and rich dry deciduous mixed forests provides a habitat to wide variety of fauna including tiger, leopard, wild elephant, hyena, wild boar, panther, spotted deer, bison, sambar, bear, porcupine and a number of birds and reptiles. The best time to visit the sanctuary is in the night between 2000 and 0200 from November to June, accompanied by a guide. The animals can be best viewed from the watch towers sited near the watering points where the animals came to drink water.

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is located close to the boundary of Chhatisgarh state on the western fringe of Orissa in the newly created Nuapada district. This sanctuary covers an area of 600 square km. of dry deciduous forests. The plateau on the hill top holds a slightly undulating flat land with good edible grass. Eleven beautiful waterfalls and seasonal streams which dry out during summer leaves few deep pools of water. This sanctuary is considered as an ideal habitat for Barasingha. The other major wildlife species are tiger, leopard, hyena, barking deer, chital, gaur, sambar, sloth bear, varieties of birds such as hill myna, pea fowl, partridge and reptiles.

Chandka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary 

Chandka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 20 kms. from the centre of temple city of Bhubaneswar. Chandka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary covers an area of 176 square km. This small and attractive sanctuary with undulating topography presents a rich bio-diversity. The mixed tropical dry decidous and moist deciduous forests including bamboo and planted teak provide ideal habitat for elephant, leopard, hyena, spotted deer, wild dog, wild boar, ratel, pangolin, pea fowl, red jungle fowl, white ibis, dab chicks, open bill stork, egret, python, monitor lizard etc. The natural water body and forests provides nesting ground for 82 species of migratory and resident birds.

States in East India
Bihar || Jharkhand || Orissa || Sikkim || West Bengal

Information about Orissa
Introduction || History || Geography || People || Dances || Festivals || Temple Architecture || Shopping || Cuisine || Beaches || Tourist Attractions || Buddhist Monasteries || Wildlife Sanctuaries

Beaches in Orissa
Puri Beach || Chandipur Beach || Gopalpur-On-Sea || Chandrabhaga Beach || Paradwip Beach

Cities in Orissa

Bhubaneshwar || Cuttack || Konark || Puri

Distances from Cities in Orissa
Bhubaneshwar || Cuttack || Paradwip

Festivals of Orissa
Basant Panchami || Magha Saptami Mela || Kalinga Mahotsava || Rajarani Music Festival || Ashokashtami || Jhamu Yatra || Chandan Yatra || Snana Yatra || Rath Yatra || Durga Puja || Beach Festival || Konark Dance Festival || Shreekhetra Mahotsava

Wildlife Sanctuaries of Orissa
Simlipal National Park || Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary || Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuary || Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary || Chilka Wildlife Sanctuary
|| Badarama Wildlife Sanctuary || Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary || Chandka Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary


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