Ecology and Environment Notes Part 10 – Biosphere Reserves in India

Biosphere Reserves (BRs) are representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes extending over a large area of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems or a combination thereof and representative examples of bio-geographic zones/provinces.

Criteria for designation of BR

  • A site that must contain an effectively protected and minimally disturbed core area of value of nature conservation.
  • The core area should be typical of a bio-geographical unit and large enough to sustain viable populations representing all trophic levels in the ecosystem.
  • The management authority to ensure the involvement/cooperation of local communities to bring the variety of knowledge and experiences to link biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development while managing and containing the conflicts.
  • Areas potential for preservation of traditional tribal or rural modes of living for harmonious use of the environment.

List of Important Biosphere Reserves in India

Name State Key Fauna
Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque
Nanda Devi National Park & Biosphere Reserve Uttarakhand
Gulf of Mannar Tamil Nadu Dugong or sea cow
Nokrek Meghalaya Red panda.
Sundarbans West Bengal Royal Bengal tiger
Manas Assam Golden langur, red panda
Seshachalam Hills


Andhra Pradesh
Panna Madhya Pradesh Tiger, chital, chinkara, sambhar and sloth bear
Simlipal Odisha Gaur, royal Bengal tiger, elephant
Dihang-Dibang Arunachal Pradesh
Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh Giant squirrel, flying squirrel
AchanakmarAmarkantak Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Four-horned antelope (Tetracerus quadricornis), Indian wild dog (Cuon alpinus), Saras crane (Grus Antigone), Asian white-backed vulture (Gyps bengalensis), Sacred grove bush frog (Philautus sanctisilvaticus)
Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat Indian wild ass
Cold Desert Himachal Pradesh Snow leopard
Khangchendzonga Sikkim Snow leopard, red panda
AgasthyamalI Biosphere Reserve Kerala, Tamil Nadu Nilgiri tahr, elephants
Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve Andaman and Nicobar Islands Saltwater crocodile
Dibru-Saikhowa Assam Golden langur

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