Flora and fauna of Odisha(Orissa)

Odisha(Orissa) is a land of rich flora and fauna. Both the vegetation and the animal kingdom have species with numerous diversities. The coastal areas of the state has saline waters and marshy and salt enriched lands, the plants and animals found in these regions are the one which have adapted to the features of tropical and subtropical inter tidal regions while the fresh water aquatic kingdom is flourishing in the coastal lakes like Chilka. The wildlife of Odisha(Orissa) exhibits an immensely high biodiversity. 

The salt water crocodiles of Bhitarkanika, the mugger crocodiles of Simlipal, the Bhitarkanika Mangroves, the migratory avian, it seems the entire wildlife in Odisha(Orissa) has joined their hands to teach us the basic principles of adaptation. The reappearance of fishes like mullets in Chilka, the successful breeding of white crocodiles in Bhitarkanika and the white tigers of Simlipal, all exhibits the toughness of the flora and fauna of Odisha(Orissa) which are determined to survive facing all odds.

Out of a total geographical area of 155,707 sq kms, the state of Odisha(Orissa) has recorded 52,472 sq kms of forest area. Whereas the actual forest cover as per the records of Forest Survey of India is 47,033 sq kms. Upholding the best possible example of bio diversity, the state is home to about 7,000 plant species including 120 Orchid species and 63 varieties of Mangrove trees which make the state second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.

Fauna of Odisha(Orissa)AThere are around 479 species of birds, 110 species of reptiles, 86 mammals and 19 species of amphibians found in Odisha(Orissa). The significant fauna of the state includes the rare white tigers, Irrawaddy Dolphins, Olive Ridley sea turtles, white crocodiles and Royal Bengal Tigers. The wildlife sanctuaries of Odisha(Orissa) like Simlipal, Hadgarh, Chandaka Dampara, Satkosia George serves as natural habitat for the vertebrates like leopards, rhinoceros, bears, monkeys, spotted deer, gaur, sambar, chousingha, mouse deer, nilgai, sloth bear, wild dog, spotted deer, wild boar, fishing cat, jungle cat, otter, spotted deer, bison, panther, Barasinghas, barking deer, Blackbuck and porcupine.

These forests are also the homeland for the Reptiles and amphibians like salt water crocodiles, gharials, cobra, python, olive ridley turtles and water monitor lizards.

Chilka

Chilka the largest coastal lake of India is the home for fresh water fauna. It is also the home for the magnificent Irrawaddy Dolphins. Chilka is of immense ecological and biological significance because of its rich biodiversity. The lake has captured the attention of environmental conservationists as it attracts millions of endangered and rare species of migratory birds for their wintering cycle. The threatened species of Chilka includes green sea turtle, dugong, Irrawaddy dolphin, blackbuck, Spoon billed sandpiper, limbless skink and fishing cat.

Chilka attracts birds from remote like caspian sea, Baikal Lake, Russia, Mangolia, Siberia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Himalayan Regions. Nalban islands of Chilka attract most of these guests. The islands of Chilka appears to be a large natural habitat for the birds,some of them are short leggegd, while some are long, few of them can swim while others can’t, some of the them are extremely dwarf while many are comparatively bigger, some of them comes from distant locaitons like Siberia while some of them are residents. Inspite of their diference Chilka cotinues to attract these colorful species, they breed,make their nests,their eggs hatch and they flourish in the protected serene of Chilka. The commonly sighted avi fauna of Chilka are the long legged Greater flamingos from Iran and the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, Lesser Flamingos, Goliath Heron, Pond Herons,Night Herons Grey herons, and Purple herons, Egrets, Spoonbills, Storks and Black-headed Ibis, Avocets, Stilts and Godwits. Asiatic Dowitchers, Dalmatian Pelican, Pallas's Fish-eagles, Spoon-billed Sandpiper and Spot-billed pelican are some the rare birds seen in Chilka. The short legged ones are the Plovers, the Collared Pratincole, Ruff, Dunlin, Snipes and Sandpipers, Larks, Wagtails and Lapwings. The White-bellied Sea Eagle, Pariah Kite, Brahminy Kites, Kestrel, Marsh harriers and peregrine falcon, Moorhens, Coots, Kingfishers, Rollers, Brahminy Ducks, Shovellers, Pintails, Gadwall, Teals, Pochards, Geeseand and Jacanas are the other species of birds that can be seen in the islands of Chilka. 

Chilka is also the home for a vide varitety of fresh water fishes. Butter Catfish and Wallago Attu are the ones found in abundance. There are around 261 species of fishes, 34 species of crabs and 28 varities of prawns living in the water of Chilka. 

Flora of Odisha(Orissa)

Around 37% of the Odisha(Orissa)’s land is under forest cover. A majority of the districts in Odisha(Orissa) is under thick forests. These forests are mainly comprises of tropical dry deciduous forests and tropical moist deciduous forests. More than 7000 species of plants and trees have been recorded in the state. These includes the 120 species of Orchids and trees of commercial significance and the plants with medicinal properties. Most of these speceis are endemic and nature while some of them falls in the rare or the rarest category. Teak, Bamboo, Sal, Haldi, Rosewood, Paisal and Sanghvan are the commonly found trees of the state.

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