About Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR):
- Location: STR is located within the Mayurbhanj District, in the Northern-most part of Odisha.
- Area: It is spread over 2750 sq km.
- It is surrounded by high plateaus and hills, the highest peak being the twin peaks of Khairiburu and Meghashini (1515m above mean sea level).
- The terrain is mostly undulating and hilly, interspersed with open grasslands and wooded areas.
- It was declared a 'Tiger Reserve' in the year 1956 and included under the national conservation programme'Project Tiger' in 1973.
- The STR along with a 'transitional area' of 2250 sq. km has been included as a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in the year 2009.
- It is the only landscape in the world that is home to melanistic tigers.
- The region around STR is home to a variety of tribes including Kolha, Santhala, Bhumija, Bhatudi, Gondas, Khadia, Mankadia and Sahara.
- An astounding 1078 species of plants including 94 species of orchidsare found here.
- Eucalyptus, are also the major floral attraction in the area.
- Fauna: Leopard, Gaur, Elephant, Langur, Barking and Spotted Deer, Sloth Bear Mongoose, Flying Squirrel, Porcupine, Turtle, Monitor Lizard, Python, Sambar, Pangolin etc
Q1) What is a Biosphere Reserve?
Biosphere reserves are ‘areas of land and marine ecosystems or a combination, which are internationally recognised within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme. It is an area where locals work with biodiversity and its sustainable use.