UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bhitarkanika is a Hot-spot of Biodiversity. It’s home to largetst population of salt water crocodile in India. Also home to more than 215 species of avifauna including amazing Eight Varieties of Kingfishers.
It is the second largest viable Mangrove Eco-System in India Harbours more than 70 species of Mangrove and its associates. The largest nesting site of Olive Ridleys ever recorded is at Gahirmatha (which is the only marine wildlife sanctuary of Orissa) adjacent to Bhitarkanika.
It is located between 86 degree 45’57″ to 87 degree 17′ 36″- East longitude and 20 degree 17′ 32″ to 20 degree 45’58″ – North latitude .It is known to be one of the largest rookery for Olive Ridley Sea Turtles and MANY MORE.
An area of 145 Sq. kms. have been notified as Bhitarkanika National Park vide Notification No.19686/F & E dated 16.9.1998 of Forests & Environment Department, Govt. of Orissa.
It has much significance with regard to ecological geomorphological and biological background which includes mangrove forests, rivers, creeks, estuaries, back water, accreted land and mud flats. Bhitarkanika National Park is the core area of Bhitarkanika Sanctuary.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared vide notification No.6958/FF AH Dtd. 22.04.1975 over an area of 672 square kilometers.
The Sanctuary comprising Mangrove Forests meandering rivers, innumerable criss-crossed tidal inundated creeks provide last refuge to the already endangered salt water Crocodile (Crocodile Porosus).Besides estuarine Crocodile, the Sanctuary is rich in avifauna mammalian and reptilian population.
Theses Mangrove forests are good habitat for King Cobra, Indian Python and Water Monitor Lizard. A large number of water birds visit Bagagahan heronry which is an area of approximately 4 hectare. within the Bhitarkanika Forest Block near Suajore creek from the month of June to October. Most of the Birds are Asian open bill. Egrets. Black Ibis, Cormorants, Darters & etc.