Forest Near Gupteswar Cave Shrine in Koraput Receives ‘Biodiversity Heritage Site’ Tag

Bhubaneswar: The forest near the Gupteswar cave shrine in Odisha’s Koraput district has received the ‘biodiversity heritage site’ status.

The over 350 hectares of forest were accorded the biodiversity heritage site status under the Biological Diversity Act 2002, said the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in a post on X.

The Gupteswar forest is home to 608 faunal species. Similarly, its floral diversity includes 182 species of trees, 76 species of shrubs, 177 species of herbs, 69 species of climbers and 14 species of orchids and threatened medicinal plants, added the CMO.

“The unique terrestrial ecosystem with a wide array of flora and fauna has been recognized as a prized gift of nature,” it said.

Earlier, the Mandasaru Hills of Kandhamal, Mahendragiri Hills of Gajapati and Gandhamardan Hills of Balangir and Bargarh districts received the biodiversity heritage site status by the Forest, Environment and Climate Change Department of the government.

The biodiversity heritage site status entails long-term protection, conservation and management of species that are classified as endangered and endemic to the region.

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