Biosphere Reserves in India

Biosphere Reserves in India

The Indian government has established 18 biosphere reserves (categories roughly correspondingly to IUCN Category V Protected areas) to protect larger areas of natural habitat than a typical national park or animal sanctuary, and that often include one or more national parks 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.

12 of the 18 biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list.

UNESCO recognised biospheres in India

#NameStates/ UTYear
1Nilgiri Biosphere ReserveTamil NaduKerala and Karnataka2000
2Gulf of Mannar Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu2001
3Sundarbans Biosphere ReserveWest Bengal2001
4Nanda Devi Biosphere ReserveUttarakhand2004
5Nokrek Biosphere ReserveMeghalaya2009
6Pachmarhi Biosphere ReserveMadhya Pradesh2009
7Simlipal Biosphere ReserveOdisha2009
8Great Nicobar Biosphere ReserveAndaman & Nicobar Islands2013
9Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere ReserveChhattisgarhMadhya Pradesh2012
10Agasthyamalai Biosphere ReserveKerala and Tamil Nadu2016
11Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim2018
12PannaMadhya Pradesh2020

List of biosphere reserves in India

#YearNameLocationStateTypeKey faunaArea (km2)
11986Nilgiri Biosphere ReservePart of WaynadNagarholeBandipur and MudumalaiNilamburSilent ValleyTamil NaduKerala and KarnatakaWestern GhatsNilgiri tahrtigerlion-tailed macaque5520
21988Nanda Devi Biosphere ReserveParts of Chamoli DistrictPithoragarh District & Bageshwar DistrictUttarakhandWestern HimalayasSnow leopardHimalayan black bear5860
31989Gulf of MannarIndian part of Gulf of Mannar extending from Rameswaram island in the north to Kanyakumari in the south of Tamil Nadu and Sri LankaTamil NaduCoastsDugong10500
41988NokrekIn west Garo HillsMeghalayaEastern hillsRed panda820.00 
51989SundarbansPart of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river systemWest BengalGangetic DeltaRoyal Bengal tiger9630
61989ManasPart of KokrajharBongaigaonBarpetaNalbariKamrup and Darrang DistrictsAssamEastern HillsAsiatic elephant, tiger, Assam roofed turtlehispid haregolden langurpygmy hog2837
71994SimlipalPart of Mayurbhanj districtOdishaDeccan PeninsulaGaurroyal Bengal tigerAsian elephant4374
81998Dihang-DibangPart of Siang and Dibang ValleyArunachal PradeshEastern HimalayaMishmi takinmusk deer5112
91999Pachmarhi Biosphere ReserveParts of Betul DistrictHoshangabad District and Chhindwara DistrictMadhya PradeshSemi-AridGiant squirrelflying squirrel4981.72
102005Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere ReservePart of AnnupurDindori and Bilaspur districtsMadhya Pradesh, ChhattisgarhMaikala HillsFour-horned antelopeIndian wild dogsarus cranewhite-rumped vulturesacred grove bush frog3835
112008Great Rann of KutchPart of KutchMorbiSurendranagar and Patan districts; the largest biosphere reserve in India.GujaratDesertIndian wild ass12454
122009Cold DesertPin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife SanctuaryHimachal PradeshWestern HimalayasSnow leopard7770
132000KhangchendzongaParts of KangchenjungaSikkimEast HimalayasSnow leopardred panda2620
142001Agasthyamalai Biosphere ReserveNeyyarPeppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areasKerala, Tamil NaduWestern GhatsNilgiri tahrAsian elephant3500.08
151989Great NicobarSouthernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar IslandsAndaman and Nicobar IslandsIslandsSaltwater crocodile885
161997Dibru-SaikhowaPart of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districtsAssamEastern HillsWhite-winged wood duckwater buffaloblack-breasted parrotbill, tiger, capped langur765
172010Seshachalam HillsSeshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districtsAndhra PradeshEastern HillsSlender loris
182011PannaPart of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya PradeshMadhya Pradesh

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