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Gupteswar Forest: New Heritage site of Odisha


Prelims: Environment– Biodiversity Heritage Sites, Gupteswar Forest

Mains: General Studies-III: Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment.

 Why in News 

Odisha Govt has declared Gupteswar Forest in Koraput dist as its fourth Biodiversity Heritage Site.

 Key Facts 🗝️

  • Other Biodiversity Heritage Sites in Odisha : 
    • Mandasaru (Kandhamala district), 
    • Mahendragiri (Gajpati district), 
    • Gandhamardan (Bargarh & Bolangir districts) 

 About Gupteswar Forest

  • It is near to the Dhondrakhol reserve forest under the Jeypore forest area.
  • Significant faunal and floral species : mugger, kanger valley rock gecko, sacred grove bush frog, and avifauna like black baza, Jerdon’s baza, Malabar trogon, common hill myna, white-bellied woodpecker, and banded bay cuckoo.
    • threatened medicinal plants – Indian trumpet tree, Indian snake root, Cumbi gum tree, garlic pear tree, Chinese fever vine, Rohituka tree, Jodpakli, Indian jointfir.

Biodiversity Heritage Site

  • About: Biodiversity heritage sites are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with high diversity of wild and domesticated species, presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species.
  • Legal Provision: As per provision under Section 37(1) of Biodiversity Act 2002 The State Government may, from time to time in consultation with the local bodies, notify in the Official Gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as under this Act.
  • Restrictions: Creation of BHS may not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those voluntarily decided by them.  

Source: TH

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