Mahendragiri Hills

#Prelims fact  #GS3 

Why in news 

Recently, Odisha has proposed a second biosphere reserve in its southern part at Mahendragiri, a hill ecosystem having a rich biodiversity.

  • Similipal Biosphere Reserve is Odisha’s first such reserve and was notified May 20, 1996.

Mahendragiri Hills

  • Area & Location: Mahendragiri is a mountain in the Rayagada subdivision of the district of Gajapati, Odisha, India.
  • It is situated amongst the Eastern Ghats at an elevation of 1,501 metres.
  • Flora & Fauna: The hill and its surrounding areas are recognized as a biodiversity hot spot due to numerous medicinal plants and other species that are found here.
    • The hill ecosystem acts as a transitional zone between the flora and fauna of southern India and the Himalayas, making the region an ecological estuary of genetic diversities.
  • Inhabitation: Mahendragiri is inhabited by the Soura people, a particularly vulnerable tribal group as well as the Kandha tribe.
    • Saura are a Munda ethnic group from eastern India. They live in southern Odisha and north coastal Andhra Pradesh, mostly speaking Sora, a Munda language.
https://next-ias-appsquadz.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/file_library/mix_content/591887508555798500_image.png

                                                Image Courtesy: Mountain forecast

 

Why designate it as a biosphere reserve?

  • The area of the proposed Mahendragiri Biosphere Reserve is around 470,955 hectares and is spread over Gajapati and Ganjam districts in the Eastern Ghats.
  • The hill ecosystem acts as a transitional zone between the flora and fauna of southern India and the Himalayas, making the region an ecological estuary of genetic diversities.
  • The rich flora in Mahendragiri represents 40 percent of the reported flora of Odisha, with around 1,358 species of plants.

 

SOURCE : DOWN TO EARTH 

 

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