The state of Odisha has a geographical area of 1,55,707 sq. Km.The recorded forest area is 58,136 sq.km. as per the State of Forest Report(SFR-2015) of Forest Survey of India.The state is quite rich in wildlife.The important wildlife found in state are Elephants,Tigers,Leopards,Hyena,Jungle cats,Sambar,Spotted deer,wild Boar,Giant squirrels,Pea fowl,Hill myna,Marsh Crocodile,Gharial,Salt water Crocodile,King Cobra,Sea Turtles and Monitor Lizard etc.To provide protection to wildlife and their habitat, a network of protected areas have been constituted.Special programs have been initiated for special care of endangered and threatened species.
The State has 19 Sanctuaries including Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, one National Park (Bhitarkanika), one proposed National Park (Similipal) which have been notified under the provisions of Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for in-situ conservation. These Protected Areas constitute 10.37% of the total forest area and 5.36% of the total geographical area of the State. One large Zoological Park (Nandankanan), three Small Zoos and seven Mini Zoos have been notified for ex-situ conservation and management of wildlife out side protected areas. The State has the singula distinction of having three stretches of mass nesting beaches of endangered Olive Ridley Sea turtles including the world's largest nesting ground if Olive Ridley Sea turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea at Gahirmatha. It has many natural wetlands including the largest wetland of Asia (Chilika) and Bhitarkanika which are declared as "Ramsar Sites". Six Eco-sensitive Zones finally notified (Kapilash,Chandaka, Balukhanda, Debrigarh, Kuldiha and Bhitarkanika).