112 pages, colour photos, 1 colour map
A photographic portfolio to Bhitarkanika. This is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India, with an area of 672 square kilometres of wildlife sanctuary, of which 175 sq km was declared a national park in 1998. Situated in the district of Kendrapara, on the eastern coast of India, Bhitarkanika is one of the most spectacular wildlife sanctuaries and national parks in the country, home to virgin mangrove forests and wetlands. Its rich biodiversity harbours 71 species of mangrove and associated species, 35 species of reptiles, 297 species of birds – including international winter migrants from Central Asia and Europe, and 26 species of mammals, including spotted deer, sarnbar, fishing cats, porcupines, and otters, etc. It also harbours the largest population of endangered estuarine crocodiles in India, as well as monitor lizards, pythons and the largest venomous snake, the king cobra. The coast is washed by the Bay of Bengal, and Gahirmatha is the site of a mass nesting ground (arribada) – unique on the planet - for Olive Ridley sea turtles, classified as vulnerable according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). Every year approximately 200,000 to 400,000 female Oliver Ridleys come to Gahirmatha to nest.
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