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BHITARKANIKA MANGROVE FOREST: AN ECOLOGICAL TREASURE



  Jun 11, 2024

BHITARKANIKA MANGROVE FOREST: AN ECOLOGICAL TREASURE



Bhitarkanika Mangrove Forest, located in the northeastern part of Odisha, is a vibrant and ecologically significant region where the Brahmani and Baitarani rivers converge, creating a fertile delta. This area spans approximately 672 square kilometers and forms part of the Bhitarkanika National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.

UNIQUE FEATURES OF BHITARKANIKA

Rich Biodiversity

• Mangroves: The forest boasts over 55 species of mangroves, crucial for coastal protection and preventing erosion.

• Fauna:
• Crocodiles: Notably, Bhitarkanika is home to saltwater crocodiles, with some individuals reaching lengths of up to 20 feet. This sanctuary is essential for their breeding.

• Birds: A haven for birdwatchers, the park hosts over 320 bird species, including migratory birds from Central Asia and Europe. Significant species include the white-bellied sea eagle and brahminy kite.

• Other Wildlife: The forest also shelters spotted deer, wild boars, monitor lizards, and various snake species.

Environmental Importance

• Coastal Protection: Mangroves act as natural barriers against cyclones and erosion.
• Carbon Sink: These mangroves absorb significant amounts of carbon dioxide, aiding in climate change mitigation.
• Habitat and Nursery: The intricate root systems of the mangroves support diverse marine life and act as crucial nursery grounds for fish and other aquatic organisms.

CLIMATE AND ECOLOGY

Bhitarkanika experiences a tropical monsoon climate, with heavy rainfall during the monsoon season. This rainfall is essential for maintaining the health of the mangrove ecosystem.



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