In news- German government agency, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), will conserve mangrove and biodiversity of Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park under Indo-German Biodiversity Programme Green recovery measures.
- The primary objective of the project is to support implementation of livelihood-oriented conservation and restoration activities as well as train community members in alternative sustainable livelihoods.
- The project is supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).
- Ecosystem-based sustainable livelihood measures such as mangrove restoration, sustainable fisheries, handicraft-based activities and science-led horticulture, will be implemented at Bhitarkanika.
About Bhitakarnika National Park-
- It was designated on 16 September 1998 and obtained the status of a Ramsar site on 19 August 2002.
- The area has also been designated as the second Ramsar site of the Odisha State after the Chilika Lake.
- It is surrounded by Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, which is spread over 672 km2.
- The national park and wildlife sanctuary is inundated by the rivers Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, Pathsala.
- It hosts many mangrove species, and is the second largest mangrove ecosystem in India.
- The vegetation and the species of the sanctuary is composed of those which are mainly found in the tropical and subtropical intertidal regions.
- Bhitarkanika has one of the largest populations of endangered saltwater crocodiles in India and is globally unique in that 10% of the adults exceed 6 m length.
- It is also home to Indian Python, King cobras, black ibis, darters and many other species of flora and fauna.
- The sanctuary has 215 species of birds in which the most important are the eight varieties of kingfisher and the migratory birds from Europe and Central Asia.
The Gahirmatha Beach which forms the boundary of the sanctuary in the east is the largest colony of the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles.