Biosphere Reserves of India : Names and Location

Biosphere Reserves are large areas of bio diversity where flora and fauna are protected. These regions of environmental protection roughly correspond to IUCN Category V Protected areas. The Indian government has established 18 Biosphere Reserves of India, which protect larger areas of natural habitat (than a National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary).

Biosphere Reserves of India often include one or more National Parks or sanctuaries, along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life.

List of Biosphere Reserves of India

NB: Those Biosphere reserves in bold are part of World Network of Biosphere Reserves too.

Sl. No Year Name State Type Key Fauna
1 2008 Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat Desert Indian Wild Ass
2 1989 Gulf of Mannar Tamil Nadu Coasts Dugong or Sea Cow
3 1989 Sundarbans West Bengal Gangetic Delta Royal Bengal Tiger
4 2009 Cold Desert Himachal Pradesh Western Himalayas Snow Leopard
5 1988 Nanda Devi Uttarakhand Western Himalayas NA
6 1986 Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka Western Ghats Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed macaque
7 1998 Dihang-Dibang Arunachal Pradesh Eastern Himalaya NA
8 1999 Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh Semi-Arid Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel
9 2010 Seshachalam Hills Andhra Pradesh Eastern Ghats NA
10 1994 Simlipal Odisha Deccan Peninsula Gaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant
11 2005 Achanakamar -Amarkantak Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Maikala Hills NA
12 1989 Manas Assam East Himalayas Golden Langur, Red Panda
13 2000 Khangchendzonga Sikkim East Himalayas Snow Leopard, Red Panda
14 2001 Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve Kerala, Tamil Nadu Western ghats Nilgiri Tahr, Elephants
15 1989 Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve Andaman and Nicobar Islands Islands Saltwater Crocodile
16 1988 Nokrek Meghalaya East Himalayas Red Panda
17 1997 Dibru-Saikhowa Assam East Himalayas Golden Langur
18 2011 Panna Madhya Pradesh Ken River Tiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambharand Sloth bear
Also read:  Urban Heat Islands

Biosphere Reserves of India in World Network of Biosphere Reserves

Nine of the eighteen biosphere reserves of India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. They are given in ‘bold’ in the above list.

Main differences between Biosphere Reserves, National Park and Wild Life Sactuaries

Biosphere Reserves of India

Biosphere Reserves : Schematic Representation

Biosphere Reserves are the biggest entity among the three. The level of restriction in the increasing order is Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks. The Indian government has established 18 Biosphere Reserves of India, roughly corresponding to IUCN Category V Protected areas. India has over 441 animal sanctuaries, referred to as Wildlife sanctuaries (IUCN Category IV Protected Area). The National parks of India are IUCN category II protected areas. As of April 2012, there were 102 national parks in India and more parks on the process of getting commissioned.

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