Odisha‘s forest are vast and home to tremendous wealth of biodiversity, the state has one of the largest forest cover area in India and host vast varieties of mangrove trees, orchid species, mangrove ecosystem and wild animal species. Here is the list of best and most popular national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries of Odisha.
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Bargarh district
Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary is an extremely important place for conservation of wildlife in Odisha. The sanctuary host immense array of biodiversity including butterflies, species of fishes, odonates and spiders.
Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary, Nuapada district
Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary is also a proposed tiger reserve offering a great diversity of wildlife habitats and waterfalls. The sanctuary has wild water buffalo, swamp deer, wild boar, sloth bear and wild tiger and leopard.
Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Keonjhar district
Hadgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is an important wetland in Odisha that attracts variety of birds both migratory and resident.
Kotagarh Wildlife Sanctuary, Kandhamal district
Kotgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 52 tribal villages and an elephant corridor with deciduous forests with grasslands. The sanctuary house many rare and endangered animal species and medicinal plants.
Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary, Balasore district
Kuldiha Wildlife Sanctuary is linked with Simlipal National Park and an integral part of tourism in northern Odisha. The sanctuary offers mixed deciduous forest and home to wild animals such as Tiger, Leopard, Elephant and Gaur.
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, Kalahandi district
Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary is home to many wildlife species and various reptiles. The sanctuary is about 15 km from Bhawanipatna and a very popular tourist attraction of Odisha.
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary, Sambalpur district
Ushakothi Wildlife Sanctuary also known as Badrama Sanctuary is situated near Sambalpur at the west of Hirakud Dam. The sanctuary is home to rich avifaunal species like racket tail drangos and very rare flying squirrel.
Chilika Wildlife Sanctuary, Puri district
Chilka Lake Sanctuary is home to millions of migratory waterfowl,lesser flamingos, Dalmatian pelican and largest wintering ground for migratory birds also the first Indian wetland of international importance.
The rare and threatened animal species of Chilika Lake wildlife sanctuary are Irrawaddy dolphin, limbless skink, green sea turtle and dugong.
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, Kendrapara district
Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary is nesting beach for olive ridley sea turtles and a very popular tourist attraction of Odisha. The beach is the largest nesting beach for Olive Ridley Turtles in the world.
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, Kendrapara district
Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary is home to largest Saltwater crocodiles, Indian python, King cobra and also second largest mangrove ecosystem in India. The Mangroves and wildlife also has the largest populations of endangered saltwater crocodile in India.
Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary, Angul district
Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to Satkosia Tiger Reserve is home to riverine forest and long gorge in the Eastern Ghats mountains. The reserve along with Baisipalli wildlife sanctuary is home to black bears, elephants, leopards and tiger.
Simlipal Wildlife Sanctuary, Mayurbhanj district
Simlipal National Park is also a tiger reserve and the 7th largest national park in India. Apart from being the treasure house of wild animal species, the park has some most beautiful waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani.
Other well known wildlife sanctuaries of Odisha are Chandaka Elephant Sanctuary,Konark Wildlife Sanctuary, Lakhari Valley Wildlife Sanctuary,Saptasajya Wildlife Sanctuary, Balimela Wildlife Sanctuary and Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary.