Long Term Monitoring Plan for the Ecosystem based Conservation Management for BCA – Phase I

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The Project

Bhitarkanika Conservation Area is a rich, lush green, vibrant ecosystem lying in the estuarine region of Brahmani, Dhamra and Baitarani rivers in the northeastern corner of Kendrapara District, Odisha, and East coast of India.

The Government of Odisha declared this area as a sanctuary in 1975 for better protection of the habitat. Later, the core area of the sanctuary was declared as National Park in 1998. The total mangrove area is a mixture of 13 protected reserve forests (PRF), 12 protected forests (PF) and one newly formed island.Due to its rich diversity in flora and fauna, this mangrove area has been declared as a Ramsar site (No. 1205) in 19 August 2002, as wetland of international importance.

Bhitarkanika presents a variety of habitats, microhabitats and climatic conditions. Therefore, the floral and faunal component and its diversity are extremely high in comparison to other mangrove forest areas of India. The food and shelter are not limiting factors in Bhitarkanika, hence the biodiversity is extremely rich in this mangrove ecosystem

Ecological habitats of Bhitarkanika Conservation Area

 

Long Term Monitoring Plan for the Ecosystem based Conservation Management for BCA – Phase I

Aim

The study is intended to develop an integrated science-based management plan involving various components for the sustainable management of the mangrove ecosystem. These components shall focus on understanding of how mangroves will respond to climate change; what factors will help them survive these changes; and, how the community will respond. The specific work objectives envisaged for the long-term assessment of the Bhitarkanika Conservation Area.

Objectives

  • Identification and assessment of ecosystem values & pressures;

  • Creation of a long term database for physical, chemical and biological components of Bhitarkanika Conservation Area for conservation and maintenance of ecosystem health

  • Delineation of stress factors and short-list appropriate interventions (Social, environmental and climatic);
  • Quantification of tourism and ecological carrying capacity for Bhitarkanika;

  • Development of an Ecosystem Health Report Card as a management tool;

  • Development of ecosystem-based conservation and management plan;

  • Capacity Building of Forest Department personnel to carry out in-house monitoring of ecosystem health.