Our forests offer much more than just beautiful landscapes and wildlife. Odisha is a state that is much blessed by Mother Nature, and it is one of the most natural states of India, the forest is home to a tremendous wealth of biodiversity, the state has one of the largest forest areas in India and has large varieties of trees, species, ecosystem and wild animal species.
Here is some list of wildlife sanctuaries in Odisha :
SUNABEDA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is a tiger reserved sanctuary. It is located in the Nuapada district of Odisha and occupying a total area of 500km2. It is dry deciduous tropical forests.
It is home to several types of wildlife like tigers, leopards, gaurs, bears, barking deer, langur, rhesus monkey and also in birds we come to see hill mynah, peafowls and many others, with 11 waterfalls, and vast plateau.
The sanctuary forms the Jonk river, and a dam is constructed to make irrigation possible.
HADAGARH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is located in Keonjhar district, which is 20 km from Bhadrak, in Odisha, and occupying the total area of 191 sq.km. It is located on the Chota Nagpur plateau. Salandi river and river Baitarni flows beside this sanctuary. Salandi dam is also constructed to save water for future use.
Various types of species seen in this sanctuary are- Leopards, tigers, fishing, cats, wolf, langur and many more. It is a type of wetland and attracts many types of birds. It is mixed deciduous forests and dense sal forest.
KOTAGARH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is located in the Kandhamal district of Odisha. It is a Moist deciduous forest. Many tribal people stay there. It is famous for its elephants, antelope and tiger population. A large number of mammals and reptiles reside here and species such as elephants, tigers, chital, wild boars.
CHILIKA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is located to the south-west of Puri, an occupying area of 1100 sq km. It is one of the famous sanctuaries in Odisha and also famous for its Kaliji temple. It is home to many species like birds- sea eagle, shoveller, kingfisher, duck, and aquatic wildlife like dolphin, prawn, crab, lizard and also blackbuck, deer, hyenas and many more. This place is very stunning and delightful, one must visit this place.
SIMLIPAL NATIONAL PARK-
It is located in the Mayurbhanj district in Odisha. It is mostly a tiger reserve national park. Dense green forests, tall sal trees, rivers, waterfalls, covering an area of 2750km2. It is home to 99 royal Bengal tigers and 432 elephants, also famous for gaurs,chausingha. It also consisting of some stunning waterfalls like Barehipani and joranda waterfalls. It’s a land of nature and beauty.
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DEBIGARH WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is located near Sambalpur in Odisha. This sanctuary holds the record for having the high density of wild animals within wildlife sanctuaries overall India. This sanctuary is home to tigers, leopards, bison, hyena, and many more. Even birds are also left behind like driving ducks are commonly seen in this park. It is a dry forest. Hirakud beside the park helps to collect some water for species and further uses too.
USHAKOTHI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is located at a distance of 22 km from Sambalpur, occupying the area of 304.03 sq.km.It is a dry deciduous forest, in which flora species found in this forest are sal, sandalwood, neem, and many more and wildlife species found are tigers, elephants, leopards, bison. Wardha river and Pengana river lies on the two sides of the forest, also Hirakud dam lies beside it.
BHITARKANIKA WILDLIFE SANCTUARY-
It is located in the north-east region of Kendrapara district in Odisha, Covering an area of 650sq.km.Considered the second largest mangrove forest in the country. Here resides around 1600 crocodiles, lizards, monkeys, deer, sambars, and one of them is a 22-feet crocodile named Kalia. This park is also surrounded by some rivers like Baitarani, Brahmani, and Dharma.
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SATKOSIA TIGER RESERVE-
It is situated in the Angul district of Odisha, occupying an area of 988.30km2. Mahanadi river passes by its side and is a moist deciduous forest. Flora species are sal and wildlife species like elephants, leopards, sambar, deer, squirrels, and crocodiles.
GAHIRMATHA MARINE SANCTUARY-
It is located near chandbali in Odisha, occupying an area of 1435 sq.km.It is the world’s largest beach for Olive Ridley Turtles and preserves turtles. It extends from the north of the Dhamra river to the south of the Brahmani river. These turtles travel a lot from south pacific to the ocean to reach Gahirmatha.