Bhitarkanika National Park
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- Environmentalists expressed concern over the massive diversion of fresh water from the Brahmani river basin, which could pose a grave threat to the famous mangrove vegetation in Odisha.
- The Talcher-Angul coal mines, steel and power plants as well as the Kalinganagar steel and power hub are drawing enormous quantities of fresh water from the Brahmani river.
- It is a notified Ramsar wetland.
- The national park is home to Saltwater crocodile
- Spread over 195 sq. km, it is home to 62 mangrove species.
Why reducing flow of freshwater is a cause of concern?
- Mangroves grow in brackish water.
- Proportionate fresh water flow from the Brahmani river basin and the Kharasrota river keep the salinity level of the water along the shore down.
- The reduction in water flow would lead to drastic changes in the water regime of the Bhitarkanika mangroves.
- This can lead to increase in the man–crocodile conflict since the estuarine crocodiles would leave the core sanctuary area and migrate upstream once salinity increases.