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Biosphere Reserves in India (Complete State-wise List)

Biosphere Reserves in India

What are Biosphere Reserves (BR)?

· A biosphere Reserve is an area of land or water that is protected by law in order to support the conservation of ecosystems, as well as the sustainability of mankind’s impact on the environment.

· It is unique area and representative ecosystem of terrestrial and coastal areas which are internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere (MAB) Program.

· The concept of Biosphere Reserves was launched in 1971 as a, part of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)’s ‘Man and Biosphere Programme’.

What is Biosphere Reserve?, Criteria, Zones of Biosphere Reserve, Objective of Biosphere Reserve, Complete List of Biosphere Reserves in India, studywrap.com

Criteria for Designation of Biosphere Reserve

· A site must contain a protected and minimally disturbed core area of value of nature conservation.

· Core area must be a bio-geographical unit and should be large enough to sustain a viable populations representing all trophic levels.

· The involvement of local communities and use of their knowledge in biodiversity preservation.

· Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of the environment.

Aim and Objectives of Biosphere Reserves

· Conserve representative samples of all ecosystem and habitat types.

· Provides long term in situ conservation of genetic biodiversity.

· Promote and facilitate basic and applied research and monitoring of wildlife.

· Promote mass education, awareness and capacity building.

· Promote appropriate sustainable management of natural resources.

· Dissemination of experience so as to promote sustainable development elsewhere.

· Biosphere management mandates people’s participation for conservation of natural resources and shopping of national landscape.

· Promoting sustainable development in communities of the surrounding region.

International Status of Biosphere Reserve

· The UNESCO has introduced the designation ‘Biosphere Reserve’ for natural areas to minimize conflict between development and conservation.

· Biosphere Reserves are nominated by national government which meets a minimal set of criteria under the Man and Biosphere Reserve Program of UNESCO.

· Globally, there are 686 biosphere reserves in 122 countries, including 20 transboundary sites. Distribution of the Biosphere Reserves across the World are as follows –

§ 79 sites in 29 countries in Africa

§ 33 sites in 12 countries in the Arab States

§ 157 sites in 24 countries in Asia and the Pacific

§ 302 sites in 38 countries in Europe and North America

§ 130 sites in 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Man and Biosphere Programme

· It is an intergovernmental scientific programme, launched in 1971 by UNESCO, which aims to establish a scientific basis for the improvement of relationships between people and their environments.

· The MAB programme provides a unique platform for cooperation on research and development, capacity-building and networking to share information, knowledge and experience on three interlinked issues – biodiversity loss, climate change and sustainable development, thus promoting innovative approaches to economic development that are socially and culturally appropriate, and environmentally sustainable.

· There are total 11 biosphere reserves of India which have been recognized internationally under Man and Biosphere Reserve program –

1.    Nilgiri (First to be included in MAB Program)

2.    Gulf of Mannar

3.    Sunderban

4.    Nanda Devi

5.    Nokrek

6.    Pachmarhi

7.    Similipal

8.    Achanakmar – Amarkantak

9.    Great Nicobar

10.Agasthyamala

11.Khangchendzonga (Added under MAB Program in 2018)

Zonation of Biosphere Reserves of India

· The purpose of the formation of the biosphere reserve is to conserve in situ all forms of life, along with its support system, in its totality, so that it could serve as a referral system for monitoring and evaluating changes in natural ecosystems. Biosphere Reserve of India are divided into 3 zones –

What is Biosphere Reserve?, Criteria, Zones of Biosphere Reserve, Objective of Biosphere Reserve, Complete List of Biosphere Reserves in India

1.   Core Areas

§  It is the most protected area of a biosphere reserve. It may contain endemic plants and animals.

§  A core zone is a protected region, like a National Park or Sanctuary/protected mostly under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. It is kept free from human interference.

2.   Buffer Zone

§  Surrounds or is contiguous to the core area.

§  Activities are organized so they do not hinder the conservation objectives of the core area, but rather help to protect it in its natural condition.

§  It is used for cooperative activities such as restoration, limited tourism, fishing, grazing, etc. compatible with sound ecological practices.

§  Research and educational activities are to be encouraged.

3.   Transition Zone or Area of Cooperation

§  It is the outermost part of the biosphere reserve. It is the zone of cooperation where human ventures and conservation are done in harmony.

§  It includes settlements, croplands, managed forests and areas for intensive recreation and other economic uses characteristics of the region to sustainably develop the area’s resources.

Interesting Facts about Biosphere Reserves in India

· There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India. Of these, 11 are part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

· First Biosphere Reserve – Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (Est. 1986)

· Largest Biosphere Reserve – Gulf of Mannar

· Smallest Biosphere Reserve – Panna

· First Biosphere Reserve to be included in MAB Program – Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

· Latest Biosphere Reserve added to List of MAB Program – Khangchendzonga (2018)

· India’s Only Mixed Site Conservation Site of Biosphere Reserve – Khangchendzonga

 

What is Biosphere Reserve?, Criteria, Zones of Biosphere Reserve, Objective of Biosphere Reserve, Complete List of Biosphere Reserves in India, Biosphere Reserves in India map, All biosphere reserve in india on map, studywrap.com

Complete State-wise List of Biosphere Reserves in India

· Presently, there are 18 notified biosphere reserves in India. 11 out of the 18 are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.

 

Name

State

Location

National Park/Sanctuaries

Flora, Fauna & Rivers

Other Details

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka

 

Part of Waynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley

National Parks

Aralam,

Mudumalai,

Mukurthi,

Nagarhole,

Bandipur and

Silent Valley NP

 

Sanctuary

Wayanad WS,

Sathyamangalam WS.

 

Tiger Reserve

Nagarahole TR,

Bandipur TR,

Mudumalai TR

Flora

Forest Type – Moist Evergreen, Semi-Evergreen, Thorn, Savannah Woodland, Sholas and Grassland

Endemic Flora – orchids species – Vanda, Liparis, Bulbophyllum, Spiranthes , Thrixspermum

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, Lion – tailed macaque, Tiger

 

Rivers

Bhavani, Moyar, Kabini (tribuatries of Cauvery), Chaliyar, Punampuzha, etc.

 

Established year 1986

 

Type – Western Ghats

 

UNSECO World Heritage Site UNESCO Man & Biosphere

Programme

Nanda Devi National Park & Biosphere Reserve

Uttarakhand

 

Parts of Chamoli District, Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar District

National Parks

Nanda Devi NP

Valley of Flowers NP

 

Sanctuary

Nanda Devi WS

Flora

Forest Type – mixed temperate and subalpine

Endemic Flora – Salep Orchid, Silver weed, Fairy candelabra, Fairy Primrose

 

Fauna

Endemic fauna – Himalayan tahr, Brown bear, Koklas pheasant,

Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear

 

Rivers

Rishi Ganga

Established year

1988

 

Type – Western Himalayas

UNSECO World Heritage Site

 

Part of UNESCO MAB Programme

 

Entire area is located within the Western Himalayas Endemic Bird Area (EBA).

 

Nokrek

Meghalaya

 

Part of Garo Hills

National Parks

Nokrek National Park

Flora

Forest Type – Evergreen and semi-evergreen deciduous forests

Endemic Flora – Grand rasamala, White meranti, Lali, Chempaka, Wild lemon

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Stump tailed macaque, Pig-tailed macaque, Giant flying squirrel, Red panda, Asian elephant, Hoolocks

 

Rivers

Ganol, Dareng and Simsang

 

Established year

1988

 

Type – Eastern hills

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

Gulf of Mannar

Tamil Nadu

 

Indian part of Gulf of Mannar extending from Rameswaram island in the North to Kanyakumari in the South of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka

National Parks

Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park

Flora

Forest Types – Tropical Dry Broad-leafed forest, seaweed communities, sea grass communities, coral reefs, salt marshes and mangrove forests.

Endemic Flora – Morning glory, Jatropha, Halophila grass

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna –  Sea Cow, Sea Anemone, Sea fans, Dugong or sea cow

Established year

1989

 

TypeCoasts

 

Part of UNESCO MAB Program

 

First marine Biosphere Reserve in India

 

Falls within the Indo-Malayan realm.

 

Sundarbans

West Bengal

 

Part of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system

National Parks

Sundarbans NP

 

Sanctuary

Sundarbans West,

Sundarbans South,

Sundarbans East WS,

Sajnakhali WS

 

Tiger Reserve

Sunderbans TR

Flora

Forest Types – Tidal Swamp Forests, Saline Water Type Mixed Forests, Brackish Water Type Mixed Forests, Palm Swamp Type

Endemic Flora – Sundari, Passur, Nypa

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Royal Bengal tiger, Bengal monitor lizard, Salvator lizard

Others – Gangetic dolphin, , estuarine crocodile, river terrapin, olive ridley turtle

 

Rivers

Meghna

 

Established year

1989

 

Type – Gangetic Delta

 

UNSECO World Heritage Site

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

Manas

Assam

 

Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta,Nalbari, Kamrup and Darrang Districts

National Parks

Manas National Park

 

Tiger Reserve,

 

Elephant Reserve

Flora

Forest Type – Semi Evergreen forest mixed moist & dry deciduous forests, alluvial grasslands, Eastern seasonal Swamp Forest, Cane and bamboo brakes

Endemic Flora – Catechu tree, Sissoo, White siris

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Golden langur, red panda, Asiatic Elephant, Tiger, Assam roofed turtle, Hispid hare, pygmy hog

 

Rivers

Manas-Beki

 

 

Established year

1989

 

Type – Eastern hills

 

UNSECO World Heritage Site

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

 

Southernmost islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands

National Parks

Campbell Bay NP, Galathea Bay NP

 

Sanctuary

Galathea Bay WLS

Flora

Forest Type – Tropical and Sub-tropical Moist Broad-leafed Forest

Endemic Flora – Screw pine, Nipa palm, Ceylon iron wood

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Saltwater crocodile, Nicobar scrubfowl, edible-nest swiftlet , Nicobar long-tailed macaque, giant leatherback sea turtle, Malayan box turtle, Nicobar tree shrew, reticulated python, giant robber crab

 

Established year

1989

 

Type – Islands

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

 

Indira Point – southernmost

point of Republic of India

Simlipal

Odisha

 

Part of Mayurbhanj district

National Parks

Simplipal NP

 

Sanctuary

Simlipal WLS,

Kuldiha,

Hadgarh WLS

 

Tiger Reserve

Part of Mayurbhanj

 

Elephant Reserve

Flora

Forest Type – Northern Tropical Semi Evergreen Forests, Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests,

Dry Deciduous Hill Forests, High Level Sal Forest, Grassland and Savannah

Endemic Flora – Coix grass

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Red breasted falconet, Slender billed scimitar babbler, Ruddy mongooseGaur, royal Bengal tiger, elephant

 

Rivers

Budhabalanga, Palpala Bhandan, Kharkai River and Deo

 

Established year

1994

 

Type – Deccan Peninsula

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

 

The biosphere reserve has the largest zone of Sal in all of India.

Dibru-Saikhowa

Assam

 

Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts

National Parks

Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

Flora

Forest Type – semi wet evergreen forests, tropical moist deciduous forest, bamboo, swamp forests, cane brakes and grasslands.

Endemic Flora – Rauvolfia (Sarpagandhi), Benteak, Livistona (orchid)

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Golden langur, Bengal tiger, hoolock gibbons, leopards, clouded leopard, jungle cat, sloth bear, dhole, small Indian civet, Malayan giant squirrel, Chinese pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, Lesser Adjutant Stork, spotted-billed Pelican, White bellied Heron, Pallas’s Fish Eagle

 

Rivers

Dibru, Brahmaputra

 

 

Established year

1997

 

Type – Eastern Hills

Dihang-Dibang

Arunachal Pradesh

 

Part of Siang and Dibang Valley

National Parks

Mouling National Park

 

Sanctuary

Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary

Flora

Forest Type – sub-tropical broad-leaved, sub-tropical pine, temperate broad-leaved, temperate conifer, sub-alpine woody shrub, alpine meadow, bamboo brakes & grassland.

Endemic Flora – Tree fern, Begonia, Lady’s slipper orchid

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Mishmi Takin, Musk Deer, red goral, red panda, Asiatic black bear, Green pit viper

 

Rivers

Dehang, Debang & their tributaries

Established year

1998

 

Type – Eastern Himalaya

Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve

Madhya Pradesh

 

Parts of Betul District, Hoshangabad District and Chhindwara District

National Parks

Satpura National Park

 

Sanctuary

Bori Sanctuary,

Pachmarhi Sanctuary

 

Tiger Reserve

Satpura Tiger Reserve

Flora

Forest Type – moist deciduous, dry deciduous, central Indian sub-tropical hill forest.

Endemic Flora – Sal tree, Selaginella fern, Palimorpha bamboo

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Barasinga, Red jungle fowl, Giant squirrel, flying squirrel, Chinkara, nilgai, wild dogs, the Indian wolf, Bison.

 

Rivers

Denwa

 

Established year

1999

 

Type – Semi-Arid

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

 

Recognized as “Genetic Express Highway” linking two biological hot spots of the country viz. Eastern Himalayas & Western Ghats.

 

Khangchend-zonga

Sikkim

 

Parts of Kangchenjunga

National Parks

Khangchendzonga NP

Flora

Forest Type – Sub-tropical broad leaved hill forest, Himalayan wet temperate forest, and temperate broad leaved forest, mixed coniferous forest, sub-alpine a forests and dry alpine forest.

Endemic Flora – Anemone, Uvaria, Sikkim Rhododendron, Sikkim Mahonia

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Red Panda, Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Beer & herbivores species of Musk deer, Great Tibetan Sheep, Blue Sheep, Boral and Barking Deer, Monal Pheasants, Tragopan Pheasants & Blood Pheasants (the State Bird)

 

Rivers

Teesta

 

 

Established year

2000

 

Type – East Himalayas

 

UNSECO World Heritage Site

(Only mixed site in India)

 

India’s first Mixed Heritage Site

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Kerala, Tamil Nadu

 

Neyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areas

Sanctuary

Neyyar WLS,

Peppara WLS,

Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary

 

Tiger Reserve

Kalakad Mundanthurai TR

Flora

Forest Type – thorn, moist deciduous and semi-evergreens

Endemic Flora – Rudraksha tree, Black plums, Gaub tree, Wild Dhaman

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Lion-tailed macaque, Slender loris, Great pied hornbill, Asian elephant, tiger and Nilgiri Tahr

 

Rivers

Tambraparani

Established year

2001

 

Type – Western Ghats

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

 

Home to the Kanikaran one of

the oldest surviving ancient

tribes in the world.

 

 

Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh

 

Part of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur districts

Sanctuary

Achanakmar Wildlife Sanctuary

Flora

Forest Type – Tropical deciduous vegetation. Further classified into Northern Tropical Moist Deciduous and Southern Dry Mixed Deciduous forests

Endemic Flora – Several thallophyte, bryophyte, pteridophyte, gymnosperm, and angiosperm species found.

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Four-horned antelope, Indian wild dog, Sarus crane, White-rumped vulture, Philautus sanctisilvaticus (Sacred grove bush frog), Tigers, panthers, Chitals, blackbuck, giant squirrels etc

 

Rivers

Narmada, Johilla and Sone, Ama Nallah

 

Established year

2005

 

Type – Maikala Hills

 

UNESCO Man and Biosphere

Programme

Great Rann of Kutch

Gujarat

 

Part of Kutch, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Patan Districts

In Kutch Area

Sanctuary

Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary,

Kutch,

Desert Wildlife Sanctuary,

Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary,

Kutch Bustard Sanctuary

Flora

Two major ecosystemsGreat Rann of Kachchh (GRK) and Little Rann of Kachchh (LRK)

Forest Type – mixed scrub, thorn, savannah in GRK. Mangroves in the eastern border of Banni grassland in GRK.

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Indian wild ass, Greater and Lesser Flamingos

 

Rivers

Luni, Rupen, West Banas drains into the area

 

Established year

2008

 

Type – Desert

 

Banni grasslands – (Rann of Kutch) the largest natural grassland in the Indian subcontinent, inhabited by Maldhari pastoralists.

 

 

Cold Desert

Himachal Pradesh

 

Pin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife Sancturary

National Parks

Pin Valley NP

 

Sanctuary

Chandratal WLS,

Sarchu WLS,

Kibber WLS

Flora

Forest Type – Herbs, shrub species

Endemic Flora – Anemone, Uvaria, Sikkim Rhododendron, Sikkim Mahonia

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Snow Leopard, Tibetan gazzle, red fox, weasel, marmot, griffon, lammergeyer, golden eagle, snow cock, brown and black bear, ibex etc.

 

Rivers

Pin, Chandrabhaga, Spiti

 

 

Established year

2009

 

Type – Western Himalayas

 

Lie in the rain shadow of the Himalayas.

Seshachalam Hills

Andhra Pradesh

 

Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts

National Parks

Srivenkateshwara NP

 

Sanctuary

Sri Venkateswara WLS

Flora

Forest Type – Both dry and Moist deciduous Type

Endemic Flora – Red Sanders and Slender Loris

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Jungle cat, Great Mouse Deer, golden Gekos, Slender Loris, Indian Giant Squirrel, Mouse deer, Golden Gecko, Yellow throated Bulbul

Established year

2010

 

Type – Eastern Ghats

 

Large reserves of Red Sandal wood

Panna

Madhya Pradesh

 

Part of Panna District and Chhatarpur District

National Parks

Panna NP

 

Tiger Reserve

Flora

Forest Type – Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Dry Teak Forest, Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous Mixed Forest, Dry Deciduous Scrub Forest, Boswellia Forest, Dry Bamboo Brakes, Anogeissus pendula Forest.

Endemic Flora – Panna represents the northern boundary of the natural distribution of teak, and the eastern limits of teak-kardhai mixed forests.

 

Fauna

Endemic Fauna – Tiger, leopard, chital, chinkara, Nilgai, tree shrew, long snouted crocodile, mugger, sambhar and sloth bear

 

Rivers

Ken

 

 

Established year

2011

 

TypeCatchment Area of the Ken River

 

Links the eastern and western wildlife populations of the Vindhyan ranges.

Potential sites for Biosphere Reserves in India

· The following are the potential sites for Biosphere Reserves as selected by Ministry of Forests and Environment –

1.      Abujmarh, Chhattisgarh

2.      Andaman and Nicobar, North Islands

3.      Chintapalli, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh

4.      Kanha, Madhya Pradesh

5.      Kovalam, Kerala

6.      Lakshadweep Islands, Lakshadweep

7.      Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

8.      Phawngpui (Blue Mountain), Mizoram

9.      Namdapha, Arunachal Pradesh

10.  Singhbhum, Jharkhand

11.  Tawang and West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh

12.  Thar Desert, Rajasthan

13.  Tadoba National Park and Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Maharashtra

 

So, this was all about the Complete List of Biosphere Reserves in India. If you want to read more about the Wildlife of India, you can click here to read more – Wildlife of India.

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