Mahendragiri Becomes ‘Biodiversity Heritage Site’

Bhubaneswar: Mahendragiri hill ecosystem in Gajapati district was termed a ‘biodiversity heritage site’ by the Odisha government. It is the second place in Odisha to get the ‘biodiversity heritage site’ tag. The other one is Mandasaru Gorge in Kandhamal district.

As per the notification of the Forest and Environment department, the 4,250 hectare of Mahendragiri hill eco-system includes Idongiri and Mahendra reserve forests in Gajapati district. This region was declared ‘biodiversity heritage site’ as per section 37 of Biodiversity Act and Odisha Biodiversity Rules 2012.

The Odisha Biodiversity Board (OBB), in September this year, submitted a proposal to the state government seeking ‘biodiversity heritage site’ status for Mahendragiri for the protection and long-term conservation of the hill ecosystem.

Around 1,348 species of plants, 388 species of animals, 27 species of mammals, 165 species of birds, 23 species of snakes, 15 species of amphibians, 3 species of turtles, 19 species of lizards, 100 species of butterflies and 36 species of moths are found in Mahendragiri hills.

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