• The chutney made with red weaver ants is a traditional delicacy of the tribals in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district.
  •  The ants are found in the forests of Mayurbhanj, including in the Similipal forests – Asia’s second-largest biosphere.
  •  Rich in medicinal and nutritional value, the chutney is believed to be a good source of nutrients like protein, calcium, zinc, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, potassium, etc.
  • Located in northeast India, the Similipal Biosphere Reserve lies within two biogeographical regions: the Mahanadian east coastal region of the Oriental realm and the Chhotanagpur biotic province of the Deccan peninsular zone. 
  • Volcanic sedimentary rocks are aligned in three concentric rings and accentuate the area’s geologic formations. The highest peak in the Similipal hill range is Kiriburu (1,168 metres). Numerous waterfalls and perennial streams flow into major rivers, such as the Budhabalang, Baitarani and Subarnarekha.
  • The biosphere reserve has the largest zone of Sal in all of India. In addition, the tropical monsoon climate provides ideal circumstances for the development of a distinctive biodiversity, highlighted by 1,076 species of vascular plants.
  •  Among them are 93 species of orchids, 300 species of medicinal plants and 52 species of endangered flora. 
  • Two endemic Orchid species are Eria meghasaniensis and Tainia hookeriana. Other noteworthy flora species include Callicarpa arborea (a species of beautyberry), Bombax ceiba(Cotton tree) and Madhuca longifolia (Mahua).
  • Altogether, the biosphere reserve is home to 42 mammal species, 264 bird species, 39 reptile species and 12 amphibian species.
  • Moreover, approximately 52 fauna species are endangered. Paradoxus jorandensis is an example of a valuable and endemic fauna species within the area.
  • In addition, Panthera tigris tigris (Royal Bengal Tiger) and Elephas maximus (Asiatic Elephant) have both been observed within the Similipal Biosphere Reserve.

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