Bhitarkanika Mangroves

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Bhitarkanika Mangroves

  • Country: 
  • Site number: 
  • Area: 
    65,000 ha
  • Designation date: 
  • Coordinates: 
    20°39'N 86°54'E
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Bhitarkanika Mangroves. 19/08/02. Orissa. 65,000 ha. 20°39'N 086°54'E. Wildlife Sanctuary. One of the finest remaining patches of mangrove forests along the Indian coast - 25 years of continued conservation measures have made the site one of the best known wildlife sanctuaries. The site's Gahirmatha beach is said to host the largest known Olive Ridley sea turtle nesting beach in the world, with half a million nesting annually, and the site has the highest density of saltwater crocodile in the country, with nearly 700 Crocodylus porosus. It is a major breeding and wintering place for many resident and migratory waterbirds and is the east coast's major nursery for brackish water and estuarine fish fauna. Like many mangrove areas, the dense coastal forests provide vital protection for millions of people from devastating cyclones and tidal surges - of India's 58 recorded species of mangroves, 55 species are found in Bhitarkanika, a wider mangrove diversity than in the Sundarbans! Traditionally, sustainable harvesting of food, medicines, tannins, fuel wood, and construction materials, and particularly honey and fish, has been the rule, but population pressures and encroachment may threaten that equilibrium. Ramsar site no. 1205. Most recent RIS information: 2002.

Administrative region: 

  • National legal designation: 
    • (Wildlife) Sanctuary - Gahirmatha Marine
    • National park - Bhitarkanika
    • wildlife sanctuary - Bhitarkanika
  • Last publication date: 


Ramsar Information Sheet (RIS)

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