KENDRAPARA: Diwali is not round the corner, but villagers within Bhitarkanika National Park and its nearby areas are on a cracker-buying spree. Reason: They plan to drive out the prowling herds of wild boars and spotted deer feasting on standing crop.

KENDRAPARA: Large numbers of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles have started arriving at three major rookeries - Devi river mouth , Rushikulya river mouth and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary. As the turtles are mating in sea waters, the Forest and Coast Guard officials have remained on high alert.

KENDRAPARA: Villagers within Bhitarkanika National Park yesterday protested the

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government imposed six-month fishing ban from today to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles in Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.

Trawlers and boatmen have been directed not to fish within 20 km off the coast in the marine sanctuary areas covering 35-km stretch from Agaranasi to Dhamra.

KENDRAPARA: As many as 70,000 birds of various species were spotted in the Bagagahan heronry during the four-day bird census in the Bhitarkanika National Park recently.

Park DFO Prasan Kumar Behera said high-tech Global Positioning System (GPS) was used for counting and sampling the avian species.

The census was carried out by a team of 15 forest officials and environmentalists.

It is bonanza breeding time at the Bhitarkanika National Park in Orissa this year as 63 of the 79 eggs laid by endangered gharials have hatched.

The eggs of the gharials, members of the crocodile family, were collected from the wild and hatched artificially at the crocodile research farm.

KENDRAPARA: THE 77-day ban on the visit of tourists to Bhitarkanika National Park was lifted today and the visitors were allowed into the park.

KENDRAPARA: Nesting habitats of the salt-water crocodiles in the rivers and creeks of Bhitarkanika National Park are now being mapped through the application of Geographical Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) .

KENDRAPARA: About 30 salt-water crocodile nesting sites were spotted in creeks, nullahs and the river system of Bhitarkanika National Park by Forest officials during the ongoing nesting season.

Olive Ridley turtles missed their annual nesting trip to the Orissa coast last year. Conservation groups blamed the upcoming port at Dhamra. The turtles are back this year, and port proponents Tata and L&T claim vindication. They overlook the violations that have allowed the port at Dhamra in the first place On March 23, 2009, environmental group Green-peace International issu-ed a full-page