Flora and Fauna in Ambapani Sanctuary
The Ambapani Sanctuary in Orissa is generally much-admired for its biodiversity i.e. its rich flora and fauna. The Ambapani Sanctuary is the second largest dense mangrove ecosystem in India. Ambapani is considered as both a Sanctuary and National Park. The entire area of the Ambapani Wildlife Sanctuary extends for more than six hundred square kilometers. It is one of the rare repositories of the luxuriant mangrove vegetation in the world. In this sanctuary, more than sixty varieties of mangrove plants are found, which consist of wide unusual variety of plants. The pneomatophores which are the breathing roots stand like the sentinels of the land of Ambapani. Different types of vegetation that are found here are Teak, Bamboo, Salaia, Bel, Terminenalia Hiwar, Tendu, Casia, Zizphus, Kauriculata, Helicteres, Dhawda, Sal, Babul, Bija, species, Palas, and others.
The sanctuary also offers shelters to several species of wild animals and birds like Black Panthers, Spotted Deer and the state's national animal, the Sambar that inhabit the secluded enclaves of the wildlife reserve, Leopard, Sloth Bear, Wild bore, four-horned antelope, Jungle Fowl, Barking deer, Wild Dog, Chinkara, Blue Bull, Hyaena, Bear, Crocodile, and many others.
The Sylvan lakes that gleam like a jewel in a brass setting under the playful saffron sunbeams dot the sanctuary's landscape.
A visit to the Ambapani Sanctuary thus discloses a repository of natural wealth to the nature lovers. The best time to visit the sanctuary is from June to September.