Biosphere Reserves in India

In this article, we are going to see Biosphere Reserves in India. So let’s start!!!

Biosphere Reserve in India

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Biosphere Reserves in India

Biosphere Reserves in India, internationally designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization (UNESCO), recognizes 18 places that protect areas of natural habitat or buffer zones that could be included in the zones (consists of more than one or two national parks and sanctuaries). This creates a balance between economy, cultural social structure along with the protection of not only flora and fauna, animals nut to the human communities who reside there as well.

The structure of the biosphere consists of the core, buffer, and transition zones. Let us see various biospheres reserves in India.

1. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserves in India

Situated in the Western Ghats and Nilgiri Hills of India, this was the first to be included. It was recognized in 1986 by UNESCO. The Silent Valley National Park, Mukurthi National Park, Bandipur-Nagarhole Tiger Reserve, Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Aralam Wildlife Sanctuary, Sathyamangalam Sanctuary, and Tiger Reserve belong to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. Tribal groups like the Badagas, Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, Edanadan Chettis, Allar, Malayan, etc., are native to the reserve.

2. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in India

Even though established in 1982, this was identified by UNESCO in 1988. Situated in Uttarakhand, around the peak of Nanda Devi. Apart from the Nanda Devi peak, Devistan I, II, Rishi Kot lie dividing the Outer and Inner Sanctuary areas. Snow Leopard is a unique mammal here.

3. Gulf of Mannar

Situated at the southeastern tip of India, this was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1989. It consists of 21 islets adjoining the coastline. Around 117 hard corals have been recognized in the Gulf of Mannar, with the sea cow as its striking species.

4. Nokrek National Park in India

Situated in the West Garo Hills of Meghalaya, this was added to the UNESCO in 2009. This is an important bird area, the pigtail macaque and the rare stump-tail macaque is present here along with the Red Panda.

5. Sunderbans

Added in the year 1989, this place is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. This place is a typical to the Mangrove trees, found in the delta formed by the confluence of Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal.

6. Manas

Added in 1985, and after that Kahitama R.F. the Kokilabari R.F. and the Panbari R.F. were added in the year 1990 to form the Manas National Park, this is located in the parts of Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Nalbari, Kamrup, and Darran District, in Assam. This is a Project Tiger Reserve and Elephant Reserve.

7. Similipal

Located in Mayurbhanj District of Orissa, this area has been a part of UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2009. This is home to gaur, Asian Elephants, tigers, and other species. It has waterfalls like Joranda and Barehipani Falls. It is the 7th largest National Park in India and derives its name from the red cotton trees that grow in abundance in them. This also has 1076 species of plants belonging to 102 varied families.

8. Dihang-Dibang

Constituted in 1998, this is located in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The reserve spreads over three districts: Dibang Valley, Upper Siang, and West Siang. It covers the high mountains of Eastern Himalaya and Mishmi Hills. Rare mammals such as red goral, musk deer, Mishmi takin, red panda, Asiatic black bear and tigers (occasionally) can be spotted here. Rare birds such as Sclater’s monal and Blyth’s tragopan are found here.

9. Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve of India

Created by the Indian government in 1999, but designated by UNESCO as a Biosphere in 2009, this is located in the Satpura Range of Madhya Pradesh. It includes 3 wildlife conservation units. They are – Bori Sanctuary, Pachmarhi Sanctuary, Satpura National Park. It consists of tigers, leopards, wild bears, and gaur. We can also see Teak here.

10. Achanakmar

Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve – Recognised by the UNESCO in 2005, and located in an overall area of around 4000 sq. km, this reserve stretches itself along with the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh- spread across parts of Annupur, Bilaspur, and Dindori districts. According to 2004 information, the Achanakmar Sanctuary is home to 26 tigers, 46 panthers, 28 bears, Chitals, sambar, barking deer, and gaur.

11. Great Rann of Kutch

A salt marsh, in the Thar Desert, in the Kutch District of Gujarat, this area has been inhabited by the Kutchi people. Consisting of parts of Morbi, Kutch, Surendranagar, and Patan District, this is India’s largest biosphere reserve. This place also has the Indo-Pak International border. We can see culture in this place at a large scale – handicrafts and embroidery of various styles like Rabari, Ahir, Sindhi, Banni, Mutwa, Ari, and Soof. This place was included by UNESCO in 2008.

12. Cold Desert

Situated in Himachal Pradesh, it spreads along Pin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife Sanctuary. Included by UNESCO in 2009, this region reserves the areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems thereby sustaining the system.

13. Kanchenjunga

The third highest mountain peak in the world, UNESCO recognized it in 2000. This peak is situated in Sikkim in our country. It became a UNESCO World Heritage site as well in 2016. It was India’s first “Mixed” Heritage Site and is in collaboration with the Kanchenjunga Conservation in Nepal.

14. Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve of India

Located in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, this biosphere reserve spreads across Neyyar, Peppara, and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areas. Established in 2001, and recognized by UNESCO in 2016, it is the habitat for 2,000 varieties of medicinal plants, of which at least 50 are rare and endangered species. Animals include the Bengal Tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr. Agasthyamalai is also home to the Kanikaran which is one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.

15. Great Nicobar

It is the southernmost and largest of the Nicobar Islands, in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The island is home to Shompen people. It consists of the Indira Point (India’s southernmost point). Included in 1989. Saltwater crocodile in this region is a rare animal.

16. Dibru-Saikhowa National Park

Located in Assam and spread along with the Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts, this park has boundaries by Brahmaputra and Lohit Rivers in the north and Dibru river in the south. It is home to many endangered species and is rich in fish diversity. Included by UNESCO in 1997, this is home to water buffalo, tigers, langurs, sloth bears, and other species.

17. Seshachalam Hills

This reserve is located in the hilly ranges of Eastern Ghat in Andhra Pradesh Tirupati, a major pilgrimage site, is located along these hills. The ranges are bounded by the Rayalaseema uplands to the west and northwest, and the Nandyal Valley to the north. This biosphere reserve was included by UNESCO in 2010.

18. Panna

Located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, it spreads along the part of Panna district and Chhatarpur district. It was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 2011. Tiger, chital, chinkara, sambar, and sloth bear can be found here. It is filled with different types of flora and fauna. It has dry mixed forest and dry teak along with deciduous trees that are found here. Leopards can be spotted here as well. King Vulture can be found here as well.


Eleven of the eighteen biosphere reserves in India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserve, based on UNESCO Man and Biosphere (MAB). They are as follows :

  • Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve
  • Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
  • Sunderban Biosphere Reserve
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
  • Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
  • Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
  • Simlipal Biosphere Reserve
  • Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
  • Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
  • Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
  • Kanchenjunga National Park

The natural habitat, the people, the flora and fauna, and nature is preserved in the Biosphere Reserve in India. These places attract a lot of tourists over the year. This helps in generating revenue for the nation, thereby giving the nation a boost in the economy as well.

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