Biosphere reserves of India

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Some of the MAB Biosphere Reserves in India [1]

The Indian government has established around eighteen Biosphere Reserves in India,[2] (categories roughly corresponding to IUCN Category V Protected areas), which protect larger areas of natural habitat (than a National Park or Animal Sanctuary), and often include one or more National Parks and/or preserves, 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. Animals are protected and saved here.

World network

Nine of the eighteen biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.[2][3][4]

Name States Year
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka 2000
Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu 2001
Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve West Bengal 2001
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve Uttarakhand 2004
Nokrek Biosphere Reserve Meghalaya 2009
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh 2009
Simlipal Biosphere Reserve Odisha 2009
Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh 2012[3]
Great Nicobar Andaman and Nicobar Islands 2013[5]

List of Biosphere Reserves

In 2009, India designated Cold Desert of Himachal Pradesh as a biosphere reserve. On September 20, 2010, the Ministry of Environment and Forests designated Seshachalam Hills as the 17th biosphere reserve. Panna (Madhya Pradesh) was scheduled to become the 18th on August 25, 2011.[2]

Biosphere reserves of India (area wise)
Year Name Location State Type Key fauna Area (km2)
1 1986 Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Part of Waynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Anaimalai Hills Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka Western Ghats Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque 5520
2 1988 Nanda Devi National Park & Biosphere Reserve Parts of Chamoli District, Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar District Uttarakhand Western Himalayas 5860
3 1989 Gulf of Mannar Indian part of Gulf of Mannar extending from Rameswaram island in the North to Kanyakumari in the South of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka Tamil Nadu Coasts Dugong or sea cow 10500
4 1988 Nokrek Part of Garo Hills Meghalaya East Himalayas Red panda 820
5 1989 Sundarbans Part of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system West Bengal Gangetic Delta Royal Bengal tiger 9630
6 1989 Manas Part of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamrup and Darrang Districts Assam East Himalayas Golden langur, red panda 2837
7 1994 Simlipal Part of Mayurbhanj district Odisha Deccan Peninsula Gaur, royal Bengal tiger, elephant 4374
8 1998 Dihang-Dibang Part of Siang and Dibang Valley Arunachal Pradesh Eastern Himalaya 5112
9 1999 Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Parts of Betul District, Hoshangabad District and Chhindwara District Madhya Pradesh Semi-Arid Giant squirrel, flying squirrel 4981.72
10 2005 Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve Part of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur districts Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Maikala Hills Four-horned antelope, Indian wild dog, Sarus crane, White-rumped vulture, Philautus sanctisilvaticus (Sacred grove bush frog) 3835
11 2008 Great Rann of Kutch Part of Kutch, Rajkot, Surendranagar and Patan Districts Gujarat Desert Indian wild ass 12454
12 2009 Cold Desert Pin Valley National Park and surroundings;Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife Sancturary Himachal Pradesh Western Himalayas Snow leopard 7770
13 2000 Khangchendzonga Parts of Kangchenjunga Sikkim East Himalayas Snow leopard, red panda 2620
14 2001 Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve Neyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areas Kerala, Tamil Nadu Western Ghats Nilgiri tahr, elephants 3500.08
15 1989 Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve Southern most islands of Andaman and Nicobar Islands Andaman and Nicobar Islands Islands Saltwater crocodile 885
16 1997 Dibru-Saikhowa Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts Assam East Himalayas Golden langur 765
17 2010 Seshachalam Hills Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts Andhra Pradesh Eastern Ghats 4755
18 2011 Panna Part of Panna District and Chhatarpur District Madhya Pradesh Catchment Area of the Ken River Tiger, chital, chinkara, sambhar and sloth bear 2998.98

Potential sites for Biosphere Reserves

Following is the list of potential sites for Biosphere Reserves as selected by Ministry of Forests and Environment:[6]


  1. UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 UNESCO "20 new Biosphere Reserves added to UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme", 11 July 2012
  4. UNESCO, Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list
  5. "Nicobar Islands declared as world biosphere reserve", 31 May 2013
  6. "Status of Bioshpere reserves in India" (PDF). ENVIRO NEWS, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Vol. 14. January–March 2008. p. 9. Retrieved June 1, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links