The research base of the Odisha State Wildlife Organisation has contributed to shape up wildlife education at the Graduation and Post-graduation levels in Utkal University, North Odisha University, Sambalpur University, Berhampur University and Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology. Other institutions which have collaborated with the organization include the Bhagalpur University- Bihar, Anthropology Department of Delhi University, Zoological Survey of India, Botanical Survey of India, Bombay Natural History Society, Wildlife Institute of India, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Regional Research Laboratory, Indian Institute of Science, and IUCN/SSC’s Specialist Groups like those for Crocodiles, Marine Turtles and Conservation Breeding etc. At various times, the researchers of the state have shared their experience and rendered services and training in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Tamil nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, and to international organizations like the FAO, UNDP, WWF, SIDA (Swedish) and DIFD.
During the course of the estuarine crocodile survey in Bhitarkanika the rookery of the marine turtle, Lepidochelys olivacea in Gahirmatha was noticed. This followed systematic coast surveys and the implementation of a marine turtle conservation scheme. Based on sustained research ‘the rear and release’ technique in crocodile conservation has achieved survival efficiency in captivity. Studies have been carried out to determine the appropriate method of egg collection, egg incubation, hatching, and husbandry of the young crocodiles and various aspects of behavioural biology of the three species of crocodiles and their habitat features. Field techniques have been developed concerning census of crocodiles and interpretation of tracks and signs. The baseline data on Indian crocodilians and their management has been possible because of over 300 publications produced from these conservation projects. Subsequent surveys have led to the discovery of two more rookeries viz., the rookery at Devi river estuary and the rookery at Rushikulya river estuary along with several minor nesting areas along the coastline of Odisha. Studies have been carried out on the nesting ecology, site fidelity, egg-hatchery maintenance and ecological relationship of sea turtles with coastal estuarine mangrove ecosystem. Interesting movements have been assessed through tag-recovery plan, subsequent to which a satellite telemetry study was commissioned during April 17-19, 2001 in collaboration with Wildlife Institute of India and Smithsonian Institution, USA. It has been possible to track ridley turtles which nest on the coast of Odisha through their migration route to foraging areas, about 2000km away. In collaboration with Utkal University the embryonic development, karyotype patterns, food, feeding habits and captive growth have also been studied.
During 1973-81 the founder Field Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve, (Padmashree Saroj Raj Choudhury) studied a free-living pet tigress, Khairi on aspects of reproductive biology, senses and inter-specific interactions. During the same period Prof. R. L. Brahamachary studied the marking fluids of Khairi for chemical description of the pheromones. The study was later pursued on tigers at Nandankanan.
During the period 1989-93 repeated surveys on tiger population have led to draw inferences on the biology and population dynamics of tiger and leopard in Similipal. During this period the technique of using pugmark tracking to determine the minimum size, composition and trend of tiger population in a given area was refined and standardized. Inspired from observations in Similipal, detailed studies have also been conducted on aberrant colorations in tigers.
Elephant population estimation technique has been devised and practiced all over the state. Studies carried out on elephant sighting trends have helped in streamlining tourism-management in Similipal with respect to season and route. Studies on elephant population trends and their habitats have formed bases for designing a network of Elephant Reserves and launching of Project Elephant. In collaboration with the Asian Elephant Research and Conservation Centre-Bangalore and Wildlife Preservation Trust International, Elephant-Human interface has been studied and analyzed for different districts in Odisha. Chandaka Sanctuary housing a Meta population of 60+ elephants has offered a base to several students to study elephant related issues and biodiversity of Chandaka within a few minutes’ drive from Bhubaneswar city.