Odisha Government Proposes “Mahendragiri Biosphere Reserve”

What is the news

The Odisha government submits a proposal to establish the Mahendragiri biosphere reserve. It is the 2nd biosphere reserve in the state and situated in the southern part of the state at Mahendragiri hill ecosystem.

Note: Similipal Biosphere Reserve was Odisha’s first such reserve and was notified in 1996.

About Mahendragiri Biosphere Reserve
  • Mahendragiri is a hill mountain located in Odisha. The area of the proposed Biosphere Reserve is spread over Gajapati and Ganjam districts in the Eastern Ghats.
  • Transitional Zone: The hill ecosystem acts as a transitional zone between the flora and fauna of southern India and the Himalayas. Consequently, the region is an ecological estuary of genetic diversity
  • Mythological Significance: Centre has included Mahendragiri in the Ramayana Circuit. The hilltop has ancient temples of Kunti, Yudhistir, Bhima, Arjuna, Nakul and Sahadev of the Mahabharata.
  • Besides, the hill has water streams and the origin of the Mahendratanaya River.
  • Vegetation: There are four types of vegetation of the Mahendragiri hill complex. They are:
      1. Sal forests,
      2. mixed forests,
      3. grassland,
      4. scrubs.
  • Tribe: Some of the major tribes that inhabit Mahendragiri are the Soura tribe, a particularly vulnerable tribal group, also the Kandha tribe.
  • Flora: Mahendragiri accounts for 40% of the reported flora of Odisha. 29-nine of the 41 species of threatened medicinal plants of Odisha are found in the proposed biosphere reserve area.
  • Fauna: The Indian elephant is the most important animal of Mahendragiri. The other wild animals include the tiger, leopard, hyena, wild bear, deer, antelope, peacock, snake.
  • Besides, it is home to 165 species of birds, 23 species of snakes, 15 species of amphibians, three species of turtles, and 19 lizards.

Click Here to Read about Biosphere Reserves

Source: Down To Earth


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