Leopard Cat, Bhitarkanika

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It was a incredible morning at Bhitarkanika and it became more special when I saw a Leopard Cat sitting out in open, basking in the morning sun amidst the mangroves. We were in the boat looking for Bhitarkanika’s famed kingfishers and this sighting was completely unexpected! 

The Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) is a widespread species. It is the most common small cat after the Jungle Cat from which it can be instantly told by its colouring and longer, leaner appearance. … Read More

Dhamra Port Commissioned Despite Environmental Concerns

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The Dhamra port — joint venture between Larsen & Toubro and Tata Steel — has been commissioned after many years of environmental protests over allegations that the port was situated on protected forest land. Situated at the mouth of the River Dhamra in Bhadrak district, the Rs. 3500 crore project will have 13 berths after the final phase of construction is completed in 2014. The port has already handled 2.07 MT of imported cargo, mostly coking coal and limestone. Iron … Read More

Orissa Imposes Seven-month Ban On Fishing Near Turtle Nesting Sites

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Orissa has imposed a 7-month fishing ban within 20 kms of the coastline in three districts where there are olive ridley turtle nesting sites. Turtles have started congregating for their annual mating and mass nesting ritual. The ban has been imposed near the beaches of Gahirmatha, Rushikulya and Devi. Patrolling will be intensified to enforce the ban strictly. Last year, there were two nesting events and a record 7.2 lakh turtles had nested on the beaches. However, despite many conservation … Read More

Migratory Birds Arrive at Bhitarkanika Wetlands

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Over 75,000 migratory birds have landed at Bhitarkanika National Park (BKNP) in Orissa. The birds are local migrants and will Bhitarkanika their seasonal home for nesting. Grey Herons, Purple Herons, Darters, Cormorants and Large, Intermediary and Little Egrets are prominent amongst the visitors. Bhitarkanika has little human interference, ideal climactic conditions, cool breeze and an ideal river system. All these have proved to be ideal conditions for the birds.

BKNP is intersected by a network of creeks with Bay of … Read More

Annual Breeding Season for Estuarine Crocodiles in Orissa

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The annual breeding season of Orissa’s estuarine crocodiles has picked up pace. Forest officials have identified 28 nesting sites within the Bhitarkanika National Park in coastal Orissa. The nesting season will extend for another two months. Human interference during this time is causing the reptiles to react violently. Though prohibition has been enforced, settlers near the park often intrude into the dangerous waters. Two human deaths have been reported so far due to crocodile attacks. The victims are usually people … Read More