Mangorves are salt tolerant, complex and dynamic eco-system that occur in tropical and subtropical inter-tidal regions. Bhitarkanika is one such location of rich, lush green vibrant eco-system lying in the estuarine region of Brahmani- Baitarani in the North-Eastern corner of Kendrapara district of Orissa. The area is intersected by a network of creeks with Bay of Bengal on the East. The alley between the meandering creeks and rivers, houses the second largest viable mangrove eco-system of India. Its 672 sq.kms. of mangrove forest & wetland, provides home to well over 215 species of birds including winter migrants from central-Asia and Europe. Giant salt water crocodiles and variety of other Wildlife inhabitate in this eco-system which form Asia’s one of the most spectacular Wildlife area.
BHITARKANIKA NATIONAL PARK
An area of 145 Sq.kms. have been notified as Bhitarkanika National Park vide Notification No.19686/F & E dated 16.9.1998 of Forests & Environment Department, Govt. of Orissa. It has much significance with regard to ecological geomorphological and biological background which includes mangrove forests, rivers, creeks, estuaries, back water, accreted land and mud flats. Bhitarkanika National Park is the core area of Bhitarkanika Sanctuary.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared vide notification No.6958/FF AH Dtd. 22.04.1975 over an area of 672 square kilometers. The Sanctuary comprising Mangrove Forests meandering rivers, innumerable criss-crossed tidal inundated creeks provide last refuge to the already endangered salt water Crocodile (Crocodile Porosus).Besides estuarine Crocodile, the Sanctuary is rich in avifauna mammalian and reptilian population. Theses Mangrove forests are good habitat for King Cobra, Indian Python and Water Monitor Lizard. A large number of water birds visit Bagagahan heronry which is an area of approximately 4 hectare. within the Bhitarkanika Forest Block near Suajore creek from the month of June to October. Most of the Birds are Asian open bill. Egrets. Black Ibis, Cormorants, Darters & etc.
BHITARKANIKA RAMSAR SITE
During 2002 the Bhitarkanika mangroves having an area of 2672 sq-km. been declared as a ramsar site being a wetland of international importance.
- Obtain entry permit before entering into the park.
- Always use licensed boat : The boat man is your first guide.
- Observe perfect silence while moving in the Sanctuary.
- Keep your eyes and ears open to observe nature at its best.
- Use biodegradable containers to carry your eatables.
- Carry sufficient drinking water :- you may save somebody’s life.
- If possible carry a binocular to observe birds and other small animals.
- Use sober dresses that merge with the surroundings.
- Carry torch light while moving at night.
- Obey the rules and regulations of the park..
- Do not tease animals. It keeps the animal under stress.
- Do not use blaring musical appliances :- It disturbs the animals.
- Do not venture out at night. It might be dangerous.
- Do not cook food inside the park :- It will pollute the environment.
- Do not go near the water :- there might be a lurking Crocodile.
- Do not carry firearms and explosives – It is punishable.
- Do not carry meat and meat products. It is prohibited.
- Do not pluck flowers, fruits or any other plant parts.
- Above all, do not use plastic and plastic derivative containers : It may cause health hazard to animals.