Wildlife Odisha - a plethora of varied natural wonders that offers a thrilling experience to nature lovers.

Wildlife Conservation in (Orissa) Odisha

Following a unique way of existence, the wild life of any region is very important to it. It is due to the natural beauty of the place it exaggerates, economical value of the products it yields, valuable knowledge one can attain by studying it and the balanced eco systems it helps to maintain.

But the ever growing deforestation has posed a serious threat to the wild animals. To meet this challenge, some anxious animal lovers are striving hard to protect the endangered wildlife as well as those species that are on the verge of extinction.

Home to a considerable percentage of wildlife in India, the state of Odisha has also come to the forefront to fight this evil. The Odisha Wildlife Conservation Organization came into existence in 1974 following the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972. In 1976, the OWC was redefined by appointing the Chief Wildlife Warden as the conservator of forests.

The state government has taken end less number of initiatives to protect the wildlife of the state. To save the 54 endangered species of the wild animals of the state, about 10.37% of the total forest area of the state has been converted into a protected area. This protected cover is 4.1% of the total geographical area of the state.

The first sanctuary established under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 was the Bhitar Kanika Wildlife Sanctuary. Other sanctuaries which followed were Satkosia Gorge in 1976, Hadgah in 1978, Simplipal and Nandankanan in 1979, Baisipalli and Kotagarh in 1981,Chandaka, Karlapat and Khalasuni in1982, Kuldiha and Balukhand in 1984, Lakhari and Debrigarh in1985, Badrama and Chilika-Nalaban in 1987, Sunabeda in1988 and Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary in1997.

Odisha Wildlife Conservation Achievements:

The two main projects which have been undertaken by the State Wildlife Conservation are Project Tiger hatched in 1972 and Project Elephant being started in 1991.

'Project Tiger' was an initiative taken to save the wild tigers from hunters and consequently preserve them. The state of Odisha houses one of the nine tiger reserves in the country named the Simplipal National Park.

Project Elephant on the other hand saw the establishment of three elephant reserves in the state that were formed in Mayurbhanj, Mahanadi and Sambalpur.

The wildlife conservation drive in Odisha worked towards marine life protection too. A crocodile cnservation program was therefore launched in Odisha in the period 1974-75. In order to protect sea turtles, sea turtle conservation program was started in 1976. Under this program, three major beaches of the state have been converted into mass nesting beaches of endangered Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.


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