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Location India, Orissa
Central coordinates 84o 56.85' East  20o 33.12' North
IBA criteria A1, A3
Area 79,552 ha
Altitude 63 - 926m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary lies on either side of the River Mahanadi, in the districts of Dhenkanal, Cuttack, Puri and Phulbani. The name Satkosia refers to the 14 mile long, deep gorge formed on the Mahanadi (saat = seven, kos = 2 miles). The area can be broadly classified under woodland ecosystem, except for the freshwater aquatic ecosystem in the gorge. The Sanctuary extends over 79,525 ha, including a 32 km stretch of river bed (Choudhury, undated). The area was declared a sanctuary mainly to protect the Gharial Gavialis gangeticus and Mugger Crocodile Crocodylus palustris. This is one of the few riverine sanctuaries in India. There is a proposal to declare Satkosia Gorge WLS as a Tiger Reserve under Project Tiger. The woodland ecosystem can be classified as Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forest and Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest. Sal Shorea robusta is the dominant tree in the former type. The canopy is irregular, with trees of unequal ages. Owing to the remote and difficult terrain, not much deforestation has occurred. The dry deciduous forest is bare and leafless in summer. The main species are Anogeissus latifolia, Terminalia tomentosa, Adina cordifolia and Albizzia lebbeck.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
White-rumped Vulture Gyps bengalensis non-breeding  2004  present  A1, A3  Critically Endangered 
Indian Vulture Gyps indicus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Bristled Grassbird Chaetornis striata resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Satkosia-Gorge Sanctuary 74,552 is identical to site 74,552  

Local conservation groups The local conservation groups below are working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Wild Orissa (Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary) 1997
Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (Satkosia WLS) 0


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Bivash Pandav, B. C. Choudhury, Biswajit Mohanty and Monalisa Bhujabal.


Ali, S. and Ripley, S. D. (1987) Compact Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan (Second Edition). Oxford University Press, Delhi.

BirdLife International (undated) Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Asia: Project briefing book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K., unpublished.

Choudhury, L. N. (undated) Management Plan of Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary (Orissa): 1978-79 to 1982-83. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehra Dun.

Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C. and Inskipp, T. (1998) Birds of the Indian Subcontinent. Christopher Helm, U.K.

Ripley, S. D. (1978) Changes in the bird fauna of a forest area, Simlipal Hills, Mayurbhanj District, and Dhenkal District, Orissa. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 75: 570-574.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Satkosia Gorge Wildlife Sanctuary. Downloaded from on 01/11/2014

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