Ecology at a Glance

Odisha State with its diversified topography and climate has been the abode of rich bio-diversity and a variety of wildlife species.

Wild Life Sanctuaries and National Parks

In Odisha, there are nineteen (19) wildlife sanctuaries covering an area of 8352.19 sq. Kms. and one national park ‘Bhitar Kanika’ spread over 145 sq. km. Kapilash wildlife sanctuary in Dhenkanal district which is also declared as national sanctuary in April 2011. One Zoological Park (Nandankanan) and 11 mini Zoos have been notified for ex-situ conservation and management of wildlife outside protected areas. Besides, there are two (2) tiger reservoirs and three (3) elephant reservoirs in the State. Proposal to declare Similipal as national park over an area of 845.70 sq. km. is under process. Bhitar Kanika national park and Similipal national park are exquisite and very different from each other. Similipal has dense forests and hills and is home to a wide variety of wild animals, reptiles and birds. Bhitarkanika is a wetland, one of India’s finest coastal ecosystems. It has a rich mangrove area on the deltaic region of the river Bhrahmani and Baitarani and is crisscrossed by creeks and rivulets. After Sundarbans, it is home to the second largest mangrove “forest” in India. The world heritage status has been accorded to it by UNESCO. The Sun Temple at Konark is the only other site in Odisha to have claimed this distinction.

Tigers and Elephants

Odisha has two “notified” tiger reserves: the Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj district and the Satakoshia Tiger Reserve in Angul district. Instead of the pug mark technique, a new method of monitoring i.e Camera Trap method has been introduced by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wild Life Institute of India (WLI) for studying the behaviour of Tigers and its co-predators and prey species by way of recorded photographic evidence. In this study, scientists calculated the presence of 45 tigers during January 2006 to February 2008. This number has come down to 32 in the census undertaken during May, 2010. Because of accelerated developmental activities and promotional aspects of Industries added with biotic pressure has created a challenge for protection of wild life and its habitat, as a result human and wild life conflicts occur quite often. In order to minimize this conflict and to protect the life and property of human beings, the steps taken are:

·     Day and night patrolling is being carried out in forest and wild life area. Steps have also been initiated for constituting a 112 member “special tiger protection force” for Similipal forest area.

·       For the conservation of marine turtles and other marine fauna in coastal districts, 6 off shore and 48 on-shore camps have been established. During 2013-14, 5 nos. of off shore and 49 nos. of on shore camps have also been established.

·         In order to protect our coasts and to conserve and to develop the mangrove eco –system, 3,637 hectares Mangrove plantations have been raised during 2000-01 to 2012-13 under Central Plan scheme. During 2013-14, 55 ha of Mangrove plantations has been taken up.

·       In order to check the movement of wild elephants of Chandaka- Dampara sanctuary, works have been initiated for restoration of the elephant proof trenches and water passages.

Three Elephant Reserves (ER), namely Mayurbhanj ER, Mahanadi ER and Sambalpur ER, were “notified” in 2001 and 2002 respectively. These reserves are meant to define prime elephant habitats and launch various management interventions for conserving elephants. The extent of notified and proposed forest blocks in these three reserves is 4,129 sq km and the geographical area covered by these three reserves is 8,509 sq km. As per elephant Census Survey-2012 there were 1,930 elephants in the forests of Odisha as compared to 1,886 counted in 2010 survey. There are 14 traditional corridors which have been identified and these are being used by elephants during the course of their migration. To prevent rising incidents of Elephant-human conflict in the state, the Government have set up an Elephant Cell in the office of PCCF (Wildlife) from March 2014.


Biogeographical Zone



Forest Ecosystem

Physiological Features





Soil types





Forest types


National Parks

Nandanakanan Zoo



Tiger Reserves


Biosphere Reserves


Wildlife sanctuaries

Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuaries

Chilika Lake

Similpal National Park

Nandankanan Wildlife Sanctuaries

Raigarh, Dhenkanal

Deogarh Sanctuary

Balukhand Sanctuary, Puri

Ushakothi Sanctuary, Sambalpur

Avayaranya Sanctuary

Wild life Sanctuary, Sambalpur

Bird Sanctuaries

Chilika Lake



















Rengali Dam

Indravati Dam

Hirakud Dam

Botanical Garden

State Botanical Garden

Zoological Parks

Nandankanan Zoo





Source: SoER