Biosphere Reserves in India - Characteristic features & criteria for the selection of sites

Biosphere Reserves in India - Characteristic features & criteria for the selection of sites

Question:-The Biosphere Reserve constitute a worldwide network for the exchange of scientific information. What are the characteristic features of the biosphere reserves? Also mention the criteria for the selection of sites for Biosphere reserves. Name the Biosphere Reserves of India.

- The Biosphere reserves have the following features :

- Each biosphere reserve is a protected area of coastal or land ecosystem.

- The main aim is to achieve the three most important functions of conservation, development and organizational support.

- Participating in the world network.

- Biosphere reserves conserve and protect the unique species of flora and fauna.

- Biosphere reserves alters the ecosystems and make it capable of being restored to more natural conditions.

- Serve as an area of education and training.

- People are an integral part of this system.

There are certain guidelines laid down by the Government of India to select an area as the Biosphere Reserve. The selection of a site as a Biosphere reserve is based on few criteria :

- The site must contain a protected and undisturbed core area.

- Areas that have endangered species, diversity of soil and micro climatic conditions are also eligible.

Names of the Biosphere Reserves in India

India is one of the 17 countries which is been described as mega diverse.

1. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve – It is spread through the three states of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Nilgiri Tahr and Lion tailed macaque are the species found in this area.

- Sunderban Biosphere Reserve – It is a part of the delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system. It represents the largest mangrove diversity in the world.

- Manas Biosphere Reserve – The park is known for its rare and endangered endemic wildlife such as the Assam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur and Pygmy Hog. Manas is famous for its population of the Wild water buffalo.

- Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve – It covers Chamoli, Bageshwar and Pithoragarh districts of Uttarakhand. There are 47 villages occupied by the people in the buffer zone. The entire park lies at an elevation of more than 3,500 m (11,500 ft) above mean sea level.

- Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in the southernmost islands of Andaman and Nicobar and the region is known for the rich biodiversity. The region is home for a large number of endangered species especially the saltwater crocodile.

- Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve – It is the one of the world's richest region from the point of view of marine biodiversity. It covers the coast of Rameswaram, Tuticorn and Kanyakumari. It contains 21 islands in the eastern coast of Rameswaram to Kanyakumari. It is famous for sea cow.

- Nokrek Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in the state of Meghalaya and is famous for Red Panda.

- Simplipal Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in the Deccan Penninsula in Odisha and is famous for Royal Bengal Tiger and Wild Elephants.

- Dihang – Dibang Biosphere Reserve – It is found in the state of Arunachal pradesh.The reserve has a population density of only 2 people per sq. km.

- Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve – It covers the districts of Betul, Hoshangabad and Chhindwara districts of Madhya Pradesh. The reserve is famous for Giant and Flying squirrel.

- Achanakamar – Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve – It is a part of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur districts of Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. More diverse and flourishing populations of wildlife can be found in the Achanakmar Sanctuary than in any other reserved forest area-including the Biosphere Reserve. The main reason for this is better protection and improved habitat conditions in the Sanctuary, due to strict conservation actions.

Great Rann of Kutch Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in Gujarat and is famous for Indian Wild Ass.

Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in Himachal Pradesh and is famous for snow leopard.

- Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve – It is located at few parts of the Kanchenjunga hills in the state of Sikkim. It is famous for snow leopard and red panda.

- Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve – It is located in Neyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife sanctuary and their adjoining areas. It covers the two states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

- Dibru – Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in Assam and is famous for Golden langur.

- Seshachalam Hills Biosphere Reserve – It covers parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts of Andhra Pradesh.

- Panna Biosphere Reserve – It is situated in the state of Madhya Pradesh and is famous for Tiger, Sloth Bear, Chinkara and Sambhar.

Facts and Figures

- The major rivers of the Garo hills originate from the Nokrek Biosphere Reserve.

- The Great Nicobar Island has a total of 14 species of mammals, 71 species of birds, 26 species of reptiles and 113 species of fish.

- The Sunderbans is the largest mangrove area in the world.

- In Nanda Devi biosphere reserve, 52 villages are inhabited under the transition zone.

- The Manas Wildlife sanctuary is home for India's 22 most threatened species of mammals.
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