List of National Parks and Wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha
Odisha, a state in eastern India, is home to several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that showcase the rich biodiversity of the region. These protected areas are important for the conservation of various plant and animal species. Here are some of the notable national parks in Odisha:
Simlipal National Park
- Location: Simlipal National Park is situated in the northern part of the state of Odisha, in the Mayurbhanj district.
- Size: Simlipal National Park covers an area of approximately 2,750 square kilometers, making it one of the largest national parks in India.
- Status: It was declared a national park in 1980 and was later designated as a biosphere reserve by UNESCO in 1994.
- Established: Simlipal National Park was established in 1980.
- Flora: The park is known for its diverse flora, with a wide variety of trees, shrubs, and medicinal plants. Dominant tree species include sal (Shorea robusta), sissoo, bamboo, semal, and mahua. The park also houses orchids and various species of medicinal plants.
- Fauna: Mammals found in the park include Bengal tigers, leopards, Asian elephants, gaurs (Indian bison), sambar deer, barking deer, wild boars, and langurs. It is also a haven for numerous species of birds, including peafowl, hornbills, and eagles.
- Waterfalls: Some prominent waterfalls include Joranda Falls, Barehipani Falls, and Uski Falls.
- Rivers: The major rivers that flow through the park are the Budhabalanga, Khairi, and Palpala.
- It is part of the Simlipal-Kuldiha-Hadgarh Elephant Reserve, which is one of the largest elephant reserves in India.
- The park is characterized by lush green forests, majestic hills, sparkling rivers, and numerous waterfalls.
Bhitarkanika National Park
- Location and Geography: Bhitarkanika National Park is situated in the northeastern part of Odisha (Kendrapara district), along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
- Area: It covers an area of approximately 145 square kilometers, making it one of the largest mangrove ecosystems in India.
- Established: 16 September 1998
- Mangrove Ecosystem: The park is famous for its sprawling mangrove forests. These mangroves are characterized by species like the Sundari tree (Heritiera fomes) and the true mangrove (Avicennia spp.).
- Estuarine Crocodiles: Bhitarkanika is renowned for its population of estuarine crocodiles, locally known as “salties” or “muggers.” The park is home to one of the largest populations of estuarine crocodiles in India, making it a key conservation area for these reptiles.
- Wildlife: It is a haven for a variety of bird species, including kingfishers, egrets, herons, and several migratory birds during the winter months. Other wildlife includes Indian pythons, water monitors, spotted deer, and fishing cats.
- Olive Ridley Turtles: Bhitarkanika is also famous for its Gahirmatha Beach, which serves as a nesting site for Olive Ridley sea turtles. Thousands of Olive Ridley turtles come to lay their eggs on this beach during the nesting season, attracting researchers and tourists alike.
Nandankanan Zoological Park:
- Near Bhubaneswar, it is a zoo and botanical garden.
- Famous for its white tiger population.
- Houses lions, leopards, and various bird species.
List of Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha
Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary:
Area 168.35 square kilometers.
Established in 6 May 1981
Balukhand-Konark Wildlife Sanctuary
Area 87 km2
Area 650 km2 (250 sq mi)
Oceans or seas: Bay of Bengal
Rivers” Brahmani River
Established: 19 August 2002
Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary
Location: Khurdha and Cuttack districts
Area: 175.79 KM2
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary
Area 1,435 km
Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary:
- Located on the Mahanadi River in Angul district.
- Home to the critically endangered gharial.
- Offers trekking and nature exploration opportunities.
Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary:
Near Bhubaneswar, known for elephants.
Popular for eco-tourism and trekking activities.
Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary:
In Balasore district.
Home to tigers, leopards, and elephants.
Features dense forests and hilly terrain.
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary:
Located in Bargarh district.
Unique combination of dry deciduous forests and hills.
Houses leopards, hyenas, and various bird species.
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary:
In Kalahandi district.
Rich in flora and fauna diversity.
Home to tigers, leopards, and numerous bird species.
Balimela Wildlife Sanctuary
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Kapilasa Wildlife Sanctuary
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary
Kondakameru Wildlife Sanctuary
Kotgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary
Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
Saptasajya Wildlife Sanctuary
Satkosia Tiger Reserve
Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary