Biosphere reserves in India and Locations Updated List 2019

There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in India in which 11 Biosphere reserves are listed in the World Network of UNESCO. Kanchenjunga Biosphere reserve is newly included in the world network of UNESCO in August 2018.
More Biosphere reserve in India informs us, that there is a lot of Biodiversities here. Nature has endowed many valuable gifts for India, such as Climatic conditions, Physical Structures, Soil, Water, etc. In which Wildlife and Natural Vegetations are the most important gift. Due to which more Biodiversity found here. 
Biosphere reserves in India
Biosphere reserves in India

What is a Biosphere reserve?

A Biosphere Reserve is a specified area in which multiple uses of the land is permitted by dividing into zones, each for a particular activity.
In other words, you can say that the Biosphere reserve is a multipurpose protected area to preserve genetic diversity, encouraging research in ecology, provide the facility for education, awareness training, etc. So we also say that the Biosphere reserve is a living laboratory. 
Biosphere reserves not protect only animals and plants, but also protect the communities and their lifestyle who have lived there. 
A Biosphere reserve mostly divided into three zones - 
  1. Core zone - Human activity is not allowed. But research is allowed without harassment. 
  2. Buffer zone - Limited human activities are permitted. 
  3. Transition zone - Several human activities can occur in this zone. 
Biosphere reserves in India
Biosphere reserves in India

The concept of Biosphere reserves has been evolved by the MAB(Man and Biosphere) program of UNESCO in 1972. From 1972 to present 686 Biosphere reserves are included in the global network of UNESCO from 122 Countries

First Biosphere reserve of India

Nilgiri Biosphere was the first Biosphere Reserve of India, was established in August 1986 with the help of UNESCO. This Biosphere reserve situated in the Western Ghats(Sahyadri Hills) and Nilgiri Hills range of South India. Silent Valley is the most popular place here for Biodiversity. 
 Also, the Nilgiri was the first Biosphere Reserve of India who has been included in the world network of UNESCO in 2000.

List of Biosphere reserves in India

India's Biosphere reserves list is provided below with all details, such as names, areas, locations, maps, etc. 

Name - Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve 
Areas - 5520 km square
Announcement Date  - 01 August 1986
Locations  - Tamilnadu, Kerala, and Karnataka. 
Included Regions - Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur, Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley, and some part of the Siruvani Hills. 
Name - Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 5861 km square
Announcement Date  - 18 January 1988
Locations  - Uttarakhand 
Included Regions - Part of Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Almora district. 
Name - Nokrek Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 820 km square
Announcement Date  - 01 September 1988
Locations - Meghalaya 
Included Regions - Part of the Garo Hills (East, West & South) 
Name - Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 10500 km square
Announcement Date  - 18 February 1989
Locations - Gulf of Mannar (Tamilnadu) 
Included Regions - Indian part of Gulf of Mannar. Rameshwaram Island in North to Kanyakumari in South. 
Name - Manas Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 2837 km square 
Announcement Date  - 14 March 1989
Locations - Asam
Included Regions - Bongaigaon, Kokrajhar, Berpeta, Nalavadi, Kamrup, and Part of Darrang District. 
Name - Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 9630 km square 
Announcement Date  - 29 March 1989
Locations - West Bengal 
Included Regions - Delta of Ganga and Brahmaputra River. 
Name - Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 885 km square 
Announcement Date  - 06 January 1989
Locations - Andaman Nicobar 
Included Regions -  Southern Island of the Andaman & Nicobar 
Name - Simlipal Biosphere Reserve 
Areas - 4374 km square 
Announcement Date  - 21 June 1994
Locations - Odisha
Included Regions - Mayurbhanj District
Name - Dibru Khaikhoa Biosphere Reserve 
Areas - 765 km square 
Announcement Date  - 28 July 1997
Locations - Asam 
Included Regions - Part of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia District 
Name -  Dehang - Dewang Biosphere Reserve
Areas  - 5111 km square 
Announcement Date  - 02 September 1998
Locations - Arunachal Pradesh 
Included Regions - Upar and western part of Siyang,  and Divang Valley 
Name -  Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 4982 km square 
Announcement Date  - 03 March 1999
Locations - Madhya Pradesh 
Included Regions -  Part of Betul, Hoshangabad, and Chhindwara Districts. 
Name -  Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve
Areas  - 2620 km square 
Announcement Date  - 07 February 2000
Locations - Sikkim 
Included Regions - Northern and Eastern parts of  Sikkim.
Name -  Augusta malai Biosphere Reserve
Areas  - 3500 km square 
Announcement Date  - 12 November 2001
Locations - Tamilnadu & Kerala 
Included Regions - Tirunelveli, Kanyakumari districts in Tamilnadu and Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta districts of Kerala. 
Name - Achanakmar - Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 3836 km square 
Announcement Date  - 30 March 2005
Locations - Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh 
Included Regions - Anuppur, Didori Districts of MP and some part of Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh) 
Name - Kachh Biosphere Reserve 
Areas - 12454 km square 
Announcement Date  - 29 January 2008
Locations - Gujarat
Included Regions - Kachh, Rajkot, Surendranagar, and some part of  Patan District. 
Name - Cold Desert Biosphere Reserve 
Areas - 7770 km square 
Announcement Date  - 28 August 2009
Locations - Himachal Pradesh 
Included Regions - Pinveli National Park and it's nearest areas & Chandratal, Sarchu, and Kibbar Sanctuary. 
Name - Seshachalam Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 4756 km square 
Announcement Date  - 20 November 2010
Locations - Andhrapradesh 
Included Regions - Chittoor and Kadapa District of Andhrapradesh (Eastern Ghat ) and Seshachalam Hill regions. 
Name - Panna Biosphere Reserve
Areas - 2999 km square 
Announcement Date  - 25 August 2011
Locations - Madhya Pradesh 
Included Regions - Parts of Panna and Chhatarpur Districts.

Some Important Points

  • According to the areas, the Kachh Biosphere reserve is the biggest Biosphere reserve in India while the Gulf of Mannar is second. 
  • Kanchenjunga Biosphere Reserve is situated in the highest in the world. 
  • Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is a small Biosphere reserve in 18 Biosphere Reserves. 

Map of Biosphere Reserves in India

Biosphere reserves in India
Biosphere reserves in India map

You may also Know the Geography of India

Biosphere reserve Listed in World Network of UNESCO

There are 11 Biosphere reserves are listed in the World Network of UNESCO till 2018. The first one is Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and the latest is the Kanchenjunga Biosphere reserve Listed in World Network in August 2018. The list of all Biosphere reserves of India listed in World Network of UNESCO is given below with the name and listed year. 

  • Nilgiri Biosphere reserve                     - 2000
  • Gulf of Mannar Biosphere reserve     - 2001
  • Sundarbans Biosphere reserve           - 2001
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve            - 2004
  • Simlipal Biosphere reserve                  - 2008
  • Nokrek Biosphere reserve                    - 2009
  • Pachmarhi Biosphere reserve              - 2009
  • Achanakmar Biosphere reserve           - 2012
  • Great Nicobar Biosphere reserve        - 2013
  • Augusta Malai Biosphere reserve        - 2016
  • Kanchenjunga   Biosphere reserve      - 2018.

The presence of different types of plants and animals on the earth is important for ecological balance. Decreasing biodiversity is an indication of natural disasters and other harmful effects on nature. So, it is important to conserve biodiversity. To maintain the goal, the concept of the Biosphere Reserve comes into action. As a result, there are 18 Biosphere Reserve in India is present until now.

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