The most famed lagoon of India situated in Odisha near the Bay of Bengal is home to endangered species like the Irrawaddy dolphin, Barkudia insularis, a limbless lizard, White bellied sea eagle and Ospreys. It is a Ramsar site and is regarded as an eco-system of international importance. A bird sanctuary is also present within the lagoon on Nalaban island.
Chilika is home to countless migratory birds during winter season. Foreign visitors like the flamingoes visit Chilika as they come from far away distances such as Rann of Kutch and Iran.
A number of islands dot Chilika namely: Becon Island, Breakfast Island, Honeymoon Island and Bird’s island. These islands are witness to the splendid bio-diversity that is present in Chilika. It is also the habitat of 321 species of fishes and crabs. Chilika plays host to the largest congregation of waterfowls. Flocks of migratory waterfowl arrive from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, remote parts of Russia, central and south-East Asia, Ladakh and the Himalayas for feeding and roosting.