Conservation of mangroves in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika
13th Sep, 2021
German government agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), will conserve mangrove and biodiversity of Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, India’s second-largest mangrove forest.
About the project
- The project aims to support implementation of livelihood-oriented conservation and restoration activities and train community members in alternative sustainable livelihoods.
- The given ecosystem-based sustainable livelihood measures will be adopted— such as
- mangrove restoration
- sustainable fisheries
- handicraft-based activities
- science-led horticulture
- The project is supported by International Climate Initiative (IKI) of German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
What are Mangroves?
- Mangroves are special types of trees and shrubs that are known to thrive in saline and low oxygen conditions.
- These forests are critical habitats for a variety of wildlife and aquatic creatures.
- Mangrove forests only grow at tropical and subtropical latitudes near the equator because they cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
- The roots also slow the movement of tidal waters, causing sediments to settle out of the water and build up the muddy bottom.
- Mangrove forests stabilize the coastline, reducing erosion from storm surges, currents, waves, and tides.
- India has about 3% of the total Mangrove cover in South Asia.
- West Bengal (2,112 sq km) and Gujarat (1,177 sq km) are the top 2 states with the highest cover.
Major Mangroves forests in India
- Sundarbans Mangrove Forest, West Bengal
- Bhitarkanika Mangroves, Odisha
- Godavari-Krishna Mangroves, Andhra Pradesh
- Gulf of Kutch Mangroves, Gujarat
- Mangroves of Thane Creek, Maharashtra
- Pichavaram Mangroves, Tamil Nadu
- Chorao Island Mangroves, Goa
- Baratang Island Mangroves, Andaman
Bhitarkanika Indian Wildlife Sanctuary
- Spread in a vast are of 672 Kms Bhitarkanika Indian Wildlife Sanctuary Orissa is the 2nd largest Mangrove ecosystems of India.
- The National park is essentially a network of creeks and canals which are inundated with waters from rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra and Patasala forming a unique ecosystem.
- It is the breeding place for the endangered salt water crocodiles which are the prime attractions of the sanctuary.
- The Gahirmatha Beach which forms the boundary of the sanctuary in the east is the largest colony of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.