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18 Biosphere Reserves in India

IUCN Category V Protected areas

protect larger areas of natural habitat (than a National Park or Animal Sanctuary)

Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the poached herenon
protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit
these regions, and their ways of life.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India defines
Biosphere Reserves thus �
�Biosphere Reserves (BRs) are representative parts of natural and cultural
landscapes extending over large area of terrestrial or coastal/marine
ecosystems or a combination thereof and representative examples of bio-geographic

Zones in Biosphere Reserve

Biosphere reserves have three interrelated zones that aim to fulfil three
complementary and mutually reinforcing functions:

The core area(s) comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to

the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.
The buffer zone surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities
compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research,
monitoring, training and education.
The transition area is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is
allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socio-culturally and
ecologically sustainable.

In 1971, UNESCO launched a global programme to formalize the scientific interaction

between man and his natural environment.
This programme is called the Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB).
Some 120 countries have joined in by establishing 669 biosphere reserves,
including 16 transboundary reserves connected by the World Network of Biosphere

Ten 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

Name States

Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka


Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu


Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve West Bengal


Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve Uttarakhand


Nokrek Biosphere Reserve Meghalaya


Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh


Simlipal Biosphere Reserve Odisha


Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve Great Nicobar


Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh


Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve Kerala and Tamil Nadu



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

Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka

Western Ghats

Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque


2 1988 Nanda Devi National Park & Biosphere Reserve

Parts of Chamoli District, Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar District


Western Himalayas

Snow Leopard, Himalayan Black Bear


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


Dugong or sea cow


4 1988 Nokrek

Part of Garo Hills


East Himalayas

Red panda


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
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 Mishmi Takin, Musk Deer 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 Slender
Loris 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


Sr. No Name State Area (km�)
1 Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat 12454
2 Gulf of Mannar Tamil Nadu 10500
3 Sunderbans West Bengal 9630
4 Cold Desert Himachal Pradesh 7770
5 Nandadevi Uttarakhand 5860
6 Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka 5520
7 Dehang-Dibang Arunachal Pradesh 5112
8 Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh 4981.72
9 Seshachalam Hills Andhra Pradesh 4755
10 Simlipal Orissa 4374
11 Achanakamar - Amarkantak Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh 3835
12 Manas Assam 2837
13 Khangchendzonga Sikkim 2620
14 Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve Kerala, Tamil Nadu 1828
15 Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve Andaman and Nicobar Islands 885
16 Nokrek Meghalaya 820
17 Dibru-Saikhowa Assam 765
18 Panna Madhya pradesh