Bio-diversity Heritage Sites (BHS)

Bio-diversity Heritage Sites (BHS)

News: Recently, The Gupteswar Forest in Odisha was declared as Bio-Diversity Heritage site.

What are BHS?
• Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) are unique and ecologically fragile ecosystems that are rich in biodiversity. They can be terrestrial, coastal, marine, or inland waters.
• These sites are characterized by
o Species richness
o High endemism
o Presence of rare and threatened species, keystone species, and species of evolutionary significance
o Presence of wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species
o Past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds
o Areas with significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values important for maintenance of cultural diversity.

How can a BHS be declared?
• Under Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002 (BDA), the State Government in consultation with local bodies may notify areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS).
• The declaration of an area as BHS does not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities.
• The purpose of BHS is to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through conservation measures.

About Gupteswar Forest:
• The Gupteswar Forest inside the Dhondrakhol reserve forest under the Jeypore forest division of Koraput district has been recently declared as the fourth Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS) of Odisha.
• The site is spread over 350 hectares of demarcated area and houses the famous Gupteswar Shiva shrine.
• It is home to a wide range of flora and fauna. A biodiversity inventory and survey conducted by the Odisha Biodiversity Board shows the presence of significant faunal species like mugger crocodile, 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.
• The forest also has a rich floral diversity. Apart from trees, shrubs, herbs, and orchids, the forest has important medicinal plants like Indian trumpet tree, Indian snake root, cumbi gum tree, garlic pear tree, Chinese fever vine, rohituka tree, jodpakli, Indian jointfir, and a number of wild crop relatives of ginger and turmeric.
• This declaration is a significant step towards the conservation and sustainable management of these ecologically important sites.

Other BHS in Odisha:
• Mandasaru in Kandhamal district
• Mahendragiri in Gajapati district
• Gandhamardan Hill in Bargarh and Balangir districts

DICS Branches

Our Branches

DICS Ahmedabad


(Head Office)

Address : 506, 3rd EYE THREE (III), Opp. Induben Khakhrawala, Girish Cold Drink Cross Road, CG Road, Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, 380009.

Mobile : 8469231587 / 9586028957

Telephone : 079-40098991



Address: A-306, The Landmark, Urjanagar-1, Opp. Spicy Street, Kudasan – Por Road, Kudasan, Gandhinagar – 382421

Mobile : 9723832444 / 9723932444


DICS Vadodara


Address: 2nd Floor, 9 Shivali Society, L&T Circle, opp. Ratri Bazar, Karelibaugh, Vadodara, 390018

Mobile : 9725692037 / 9725692054


DICS Surat


Address: 403, Raj Victoria, Opp. Pal Walkway, Near Galaxy Circle, Pal, Surat-394510

Mobile : 8401031583 / 8401031587


DICS New Delhi

New Delhi(In Association with Edge IAS)

Address: 57/17, 2nd Floor, Old Rajinder Nagar Market, Bada Bazaar Marg, Delhi-60

Mobile : 9104830862 / 9104830865