Odisha’s Hidden Gem - Gupteswar forest declared as fourth Biodiversity Heritage Site in state

Odisha’s Hidden Gem - Gupteswar forest declared as fourth Biodiversity Heritage Site in state

Posted by Marine2Alpine on Tuesday, 28th May 2024.

The Gupteswar Forest, located adjacent to the Gupteswar Shiva temple in Odisha’s Koraput district, has been officially designated as the fourth Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) in the state. Covering a vast area of 350 hectares, this site is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, including sacred groves revered by the local community.

Here are some fascinating details about the Gupteswar Biodiversity Heritage Site:

Fauna Diversity: The forest hosts an impressive array of faunal species: Mammals - 28 species, Amphibians - 18 species, Birds – 188 species, Reptiles – 48 species, Butterflies – 141 species, Fishes – 45 species, Moths – 43 species, Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) – 41 species, Spiders – 30 species, Lower invertebrates – 20 species, Scorpions – 6 species.

Noteworthy faunal species include the mugger crocodile, kanger valley rock gecko, sacred Grove Bush Frog, and various avifauna such as the Jerdon’s baza, black baza, Malabar trogon, white-bellied woodpecker, common hill myna, and banded bay cuckoo.

Limestone Caves: The limestone caves of Gupteswar are captivating, housing eight bat species out of the total 16 found in southern Odisha.

Floral Diversity: The site boasts a rich floral diversity, featuring: Trees – 182 species, Herbs – 177 species, Shrubs – 76 species, Orchids – 14 species, Climbers – 69 species, Threatened medicinal plants

Micro- organisms: Agriculturally and industrially important micro-organisms thrive in this primeval ecosystem.

The state government has directed the Odisha Biodiversity Board to formulate a long-term plan for the intensive conservation and development of these sites, involving the active participation of local communities.

The nature lovers, intelligentsia and local populace while welcoming such a decision of the government expressed satisfaction that this forest in the long run would add to the livelihood of the people through eco-tourism and minor forest produce.

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Tags: odisha ecotourism gupteswar forest biodiversity heritage koraput species boost tourism naturefriendly faunadiversity limestonecaves floraldiversity microorganisms naturelovers traveldestination newhiddengem travelideas marinetoalpine
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