The state animal of Odisha is Sambar Deer. The Sambar Deer is a large and majestic species of deer native to the Indian subcontinent, including the state of Odisha.
Appearance: The Sambar Deer is one of the largest deer species in the world. It has a robust and sturdy build, with males (stags) being larger than females (hinds). The coat of the Sambar Deer varies in color, ranging from dark brown to grayish-brown, with a lighter underbelly. Both males and females have a shaggy mane on their necks, and males have impressive antlers with several tines.
Habitat: Sambar Deer are highly adaptable and can be found in a wide range of habitats, including dense forests, grasslands, swamps, and hilly terrains. In Odisha, they are commonly found in various national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and forested areas.
Conservation Status: The Sambar Deer is not listed as a threatened species and is considered of “Least Concern” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. However, like many other wildlife species, they face threats such as habitat loss, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts. Conservation efforts are necessary to ensure their protection and the preservation of their natural habitats.
Importance: The Sambar Deer, State Animal of Odisha, plays a vital ecological role in the forests of Odisha. As a herbivorous animal, it helps shape the vegetation and contributes to seed dispersal, supporting the overall biodiversity of the ecosystem. They are also an important prey species for various carnivores, contributing to the ecological balance in the region.
Culturally, the Sambar Deer holds significance in various local traditions and folklore. Their presence in the forests of Odisha is admired and valued by the people of the state, as they represent the rich wildlife heritage of the region.
Preserving the Sambar Deer’s natural habitats and ensuring their protection is essential for maintaining the ecological integrity of Odisha’s forests and safeguarding the state’s biodiversity for future generations to appreciate and cherish.