Published on September 1, 2020

List of Biosphere Reserves in India


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What is Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere reserves are the protected areas including terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystem to establish harmony between human and wildlife and sustainable development. A biosphere has three layers. The inner strictly protected area is called the core zone. Most endangered species are found in this area. The core zone is surrounded by buffer zone. It is open to reaching education and training purpose. The outer layer is called the transition zone where human nature interaction can be found.

In India, there is a total of 18 biosphere reserves. Among them, 11 are listed to Man and the Biosphere Programme and 7 are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

List of Biosphere Reserves in India

  1. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
  2. Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
  3. Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve
  4. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
  5. Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
  6. Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
  7. Simlipal Biosphere Reserve
  8. Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
  9. Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
  10. Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
  11. Panna Biosphere Reserve
  12. Manas National Park
  13. Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve
  14. Great Rann of Kutch
  15. Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve
  16. Kangchenjunga
  17. Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve
  18. Seshachalam Hills Biosphere Reserve

What is Man and the Biosphere Programme

It is a scientific programme launched by UNESCO in the year of 1971. The main target of this programme was to take harmony between nature and human beings and conserve biodiversity. UNESCO classifies some biosphere as World Network of Biosphere Reserves or WNBR. In India, there is 11 biosphere reserve across the country which were the part of WNBR as follows:

  1. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
  2. Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
  3. Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve
  4. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
  5. Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
  6. Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
  7. Simlipal Biosphere Reserve
  8. Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
  9. Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
  10. Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
  11. Khangchendzonga National Park

List of Biosphere Reserves in India

1. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1986.
  • It is located in Nilgiri Hills and Western Ghat mountains of South Indian states Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2012.
  • It is the home of endangered species like lion-tailed macaque and Nilgiri tahr and other animals like Bengal tiger,  Indian leopard, Black panther, Gaur, Indian elephant, Mongoose, Malabar giant squirrel and so on.

2. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

  • It is also called as Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks.
  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1988.
  • It is located in the Western Himalayas region of North Indian state Uttarakhand.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.
  • It is the home of species like  Himalayan musk deer, mainland serow and Himalayan tahr, snow leopard, Himalayan black bear, brown bear and so on.

3. Gulf of Mannar

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1989.
  • It is situated in the coastal region of Tamil Nadu state.
  • It is the home of endangered species like dolphins, dugongs, whales and sea cucumbers and other marine creatures such as  Sea turtles, sharks and so on.

4. Nokrek Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1988.
  • It is located in West Garo Hills of Meghalaya state.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009.
  • It is famous for red panda, Asian elephant,  marbled cat etc.

5. Sundarbans

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1989.
  • It is located in Gangetic delta region of West Bengal.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
  • It was declared as a Ramsar site in 1992.
  • It has the largest mangrove ecosystem in the world.
  • It is famous for Bengal tiger, Fishing cats, macaques, wild boars, common grey mongooses, foxes, jungle cats, flying foxes, pangolins, and spotted deer and so on.

6. Manas National Park

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1989.
  • It is located in Assam.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 1985.
  • It is famous for Indian elephants, Indian rhinoceros, gaurs, Asian water buffaloes, barasingha, Indian tigers, Indian leopards, clouded leopards, Asian golden cats, dholes, capped langurs, golden langurs, Assamese macaques, slow loris, hoolock gibbons, smooth-coated otters, sloth bears, barking deers, hog deers and so on.

7. Simlipal National Park

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1994.
  • It is located in Odisha.
  • It was declared as a Ramsar site in 1992.
  • It is the home of Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, gaur, and chausingha, Joranda and Barehipani Falls and so on.

8. Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1998.
  • It is the part of Eastern Himalayan region of Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is the home of Mishmi takin, red goral, musk deer, red panda, Asiatic black bear, occasional tiger and Gongshan muntjac and so on.

9. Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1999.
  • It is the part of Satpura range in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009.
  • It is famous for tigers, leopard, wild bear, gaur, chital deer (Axis axis), muntjac deer, sambar deer, and rhesus macaque. and so on.

10. Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2005.
  • It is a part of Maikala Hills located in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh.
  • It was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site in 2009.
  • It is famous for blackbuck, chinkara, wolves, foxes, Jackals, wild boar, monkeys samarth and giant squirrels ananya etc.

11. Great Rann of Kutch

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2008.
  • It is located in Gujrat.
  • It is the largest biosphere reserve in India.
  • It is famous for the Indian wild ass.

12. Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2009.
  • It is the part of Western Himalayan region of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It is famous for Himalayan snowcock, chukar partridge, snow partridge etc.

13. Kangchenjunga

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2000.
  • It is the part of Eastern Himalayan region of Sikkim.
  • It is famous for musk deer, snow leopard, Himalayan tahr, wild dog, sloth bear, civet, Himalayan black bear, red panda, Tibetan wild ass, Himalayan blue sheep, serow, goral and takin and so on.

14. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2001.
  • It is the part of the Western Ghats, located in South Indian states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu.
  • It is famous for Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr.

15. Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1989.
  • It is located in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
  • It is famous for edible-nest swiftlet, the Nicobar long-tailed macaque, saltwater crocodile, giant leatherback sea turtle, Malayan box turtle, Nicobar tree shrew, a reticulated python and the giant robber crab.

16. Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 1997.
  • It is located in Assam.
  • It is famous for Bengal tiger, Indian leopard, clouded leopard, jungle cat, sloth bear, dhole, small Indian civet, Malayan giant squirrel, Chinese pangolin, Gangetic dolphin, slow loris, pig-tailed macaque, Assamese macaque and so on.

17. Seshachalam Hills Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2010.
  • It is the part of the Eastern Ghats in Andhra Pradesh.
  • It is famous for the species Slender loris.

18. Panna Biosphere Reserve

  • It was declared as a biosphere reserve in 2011.
  • It is located in Madhya Pradesh.
  • It is famous for tiger, leopard, chital, chinkara, nilgai, sambhar and sloth bear and so on.

Conclusion


To further the comprehension of complex interactions in an ecosystem, it is desirable to educate common people how to sustainably manage the scarce natural reserves. The director-general of the UNESCO has therefore initiated a MAB council, whose task it is to coordinate the moves to further the dissemination of the wisdom relating to the management of biodiversity. Such a down-to-earth applied education, so the UNESCO hopes, will avoid conflicts and enlighten the common people about the complexity of the World’s biosystems.

Member-states of the UNESCO have therefore been asked to designate areas of terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems in their territory to model the interactions between biodiversity and cultural sensitivity, the economic development of those sanctuaries in a sustainable context and to provide the educational and research platform to teach the visitors the complexity of such a biodiversity reserve.

Until now such Biosphere reserves are home to 257 million people.


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Position of Biosphere Reserves in India on Map


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