Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)

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Forest department personnel in Odisha recently arrested four poachers and two timber smugglers from Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) in Mayurbhanj district during patrolling.

About Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR)

  • Location: STR is located within the Mayurbhanj District, in the northernmost part of Odisha.
  • It was declared a 'Tiger Reserve' in 1956 and included under the national conservation programme 'Project Tiger' in 1973.
  • 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 STR, along with a 'transitional area' of 2250 sq. km, was included as a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO in 2009.
  • Terrain:
    • The terrain is mostly undulating and hilly, interspersed with open grasslands and wooded areas.
    • The inclined plateau has risen abruptly from the low coastal plains. The steep side faces the Bay of Bengal and runs northwards to finally merge with Chhota Nagpur.
    • The water level is high, and the tract is woven with perennial water sources converging into rivers like Budhabalanga, Salandi, and many tributaries of the Baitarani River flowing from the Reserve.
  • Vegetation: It is a mix of different forest types and habitats, with Northern tropical moist deciduous dominating some semi-evergreen patches.
  • 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.
  • Flora:
    • An astounding 1078 species of plants, including 94 species of orchids, are found here.
    • Sal is the dominant tree species here.
  • 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 Project Tiger?

The Govt. of India had launched Project Tiger on 1st April 1973 to promote conservation of the tiger. This project has been the largest species conservation initiative of its kind in the world. The Project is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS) of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC). It provides funding support to tiger range States for in-situ conservation of tigers in designated tiger reserves. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is the immediate supervising agency.

Source: 4 poachers, 2 timber smugglers arrested in Similipal Tiger Reserve