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Odisha State,known for the Konark temple and as the land of Lord Jagannath,is also the 4th largest among all Indian states in terms of the extent of forest cover, with per Capita Forest of 0.16 ha, which is more than double the national average, the state is naturally the abode of Immense diversity of wild life. Here is a glimpse of the status of wildlife and programmes of wildlife conservation in the state.

Biosphere Reserve is an international designation assigned by UNESCO for representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over large areas of terrestrial or coastal/ marine eco-systems or combination thereof. These are intended to promote conservation of biodiversity and also to promote alternate livelihood for man and preserve cultural values

Chilika has a pride of place in Odisha's literature and culture, and has influenced the poets and philosophers. It has held great significance for planners, scientists, international organizations like 'The Wetlands International' and 'Asian Wetland Bureau'. Chilika lagoon has been designated as a Ramsar site (Wetland of International importance) from the 1st October, l981.

In a bid to conserve the complex and fragile mangrove ecosystem and the endangered flora, fauna associated with it, Govt. of Odisha Vide notification No. 6958/FFAH dt. 22.4.1975 constituted the ex-zamindary forests of Kanika Raj which were declared as P.F. Vide notification No. 33233 dt. 04.10.1961 as a Sanctuary known as Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary. The area of the Sanctuary is 672 Sq. Kms.

Mangroves are salt tolerant plant species found in the inter-tidal regions along the creeks and estuaries near the coast, on the river mouth. They play a very significant role in protecting the hinterland against (i) cyclones and (ii) the ingress of sea water during tidal surge. Mangroves stabilize coastal land mass against sea erosion. They are repositories of immense biological diversity and are also the nursery..

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