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mains Test Series 2018
BIOSPHERE RESERVE NETWORK IN INDIA
Jul 08, 2014

There are eighteen bio-sphere reserves in India covering more than 55000 square km. area. spread from Kashmir to Kanyakumari to Andaman & Nicobar islands and from Kutch to Meghalaya and Andaman & Nicobar islands. Out of these, Nine biosphere reserves are recognized by UNESCO on world network of Biosphere Reserves. 

 

S. No. Established Year Name of the Biosphere Reserves Location of biosphere Reserve
1 2008 Great Rann of Kutch Part of Kuchh, Rajkot Surendranagar District
2 1989 Gulf of Mannar Indian part of Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka
3 1989 Sunderbans Part of delta of Ganges and Barahamaputra river system
4 1988 Nanda Devi Parts of Chamoli District Pithoragarh District Bageshwar District
5 1986 Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Part of Wynad Nagarhole Bandipur and Mudumalai,Nilambur Silent Valley Siruvani Hills
6 1998 Dehong Deband Part of Siang and Debang valley
7 1999 Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Parts of Betul District,Hoshangabad District and Chhindwara District
8 2009 Simlipal Part of Mayurbhanj district
9

2005

Achanakamar -Amarkantak

Part of AnnupurDindori and Bilaspur districts

10

1989

Manas

Part of Kokrajhar,Bongaigaon,Barpeta,Nalbari,Kamrup and Darrang District

11

2000

Kanchanjunga

Parts of Kanchanjunga Hills

12

2001

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve

Neyyar,Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areas

13

1989

Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve

Southern most islands of 

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

14

1988

Nokrek

Part of Garo Hills

15

1997

Dibru-Saikhowa

Part of Dibrugargh and Tinsukia district

16

2009

Cold Desert

Pin Valley National Park and surroundings;Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife Sancturary

17

2010

Seshachalam Hills

Seshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districts

18.

2011

Panna

Part of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya Pradesh

 


Nine 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 list.

1. AGASTHIAYAMALAI BIOSPHERE RESERVE :

State : Kerala 
Area : 1,701sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Rudraksha tree, Black plums, Gaub tree, Wild dhaman
Endemic Fauna : Lion-tailed macaque, Slender loris, Great pied hornbill

This reserve is likely to be extended to parts of  Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli districts of Tamilnadu, the Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve and Kalakkadu wildlife sanctuary. Forest type includes thorn, moist deciduous and semi-evergreens. The area is rich in plant and animal diversity.


This Biosphere Reserve harbors the most diverse eco-systems in Peninsular India. The forests, falling both in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, have many endemic species of plants unique to Peninsular India. As many as 35 of these plants are threatened or endangered species. Forests occur in the altitudinal range of less than 300 metres to more than 2,800 metres around Agasthyakudam.

Flora

So far, 2000 species of flowering plants have been reported. 30 new plant species are recorded from this region, about 100 endemic and 50 rare. A few examples are Aristolochia (Snake root), Cardiospermum (Faux persilo), Ceropegia (Taper vine), Dioscorea (Wild yam), Gloriosa (Glory lily), Rauvolfia (Serpentine wood) and Smilax (Laurel leaf greenbrier)


Fauna


Threatened animal species found in this reserve are tiger, lion-tailed macaque, great pied hornbill and slender loris.


Threats


The main threats are several settlements in the existing hydel and irrigation projects, cultivation of plantation crops and increase in the number of pilgrims to Agastyakudam area.


2. ACHANAKMAR-AMARKANTAK BIOSPHERE RESERVE :


The Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve is the most dramatic and ecologically diverse landscape in the Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh states of India. 


Ecological Characteristics


The Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve is located at the junction of hill ranges, with topography ranging from high mountains, shallow valleys and plains.  Moist deciduous forests constitute 63% of the area. It is very rich in flora and fauna due to its tropical moist deciduous vegetation which covers the majority of the area and tropical dry deciduous vegetation to its southern part, minimum disturbed landscapes, endemism and genetic variation. 


The Biosphere Reserve is home of 67 threatened faunal species, belonging to various categories of global threats as per IUCN 2001 categorization like 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). Other important fauna species found in the reserve include the blackbuck,  chinkara, wolves, foxes, Jackals, wild boar, monkeys and giantsquirrels.


3. DIHANG – DIBANG BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State :
Arunachal Pradesh 
Area : 5,111 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Cyathea (tree fern), Begonia, Lady’s slipper orchid
Endemic Fauna : Red panda, Himalayan black bear, Green pit viper, Takin

The Dihang-Dibang Biosphere Reserve is situated in the districts of West Siang, Upper Siang and Dibang valley of Arunachal Pradesh. This reserve is almost totally forested, having villages and cultivated lands located on lower slopes and terrace edging the major river systems. The reserve is the last stronghold for many Himalayan species. Populations of above 10,000 people who live in the reserve are primarily of the Adi, Buddhist and Mishmi tribes.


Flora


The vegetation types that occur in the Reserve are sub-tropical broad-leaved, sub-tropical pine, temperate broad-leaved, temperate conifer, sub-alphine woody shrub, alpine meadow (monton), bamboo brakes and grassland. The Reserve forms a part of the world’s “Biodiversity Hot Spots”. About 1500 flowering plants occur in this Biosphere Reserve. The rare orchid Vanda and 50 species of Rhododendron are found here. It is a shelter for saprophytes like Monotropa uniflora (Indian pipe) and Epipogium spp. (Widerbart) parasitic plants are found here. Some plants listed in “primitive” families are seen here and include Magnolia Compbellii (Charles raffill), Holboelli latifolia (Ribbonwood), and various species of rare and endangered species in the Reserve include Cyathea sp. (Rough tree fern) and Coptis teeta (Indian goldthread).


Fauna


About 45 species of insects, including moths and butterflies have been reported. There are about 195 species of birds, including, the pale-capped pigeon, a globally threatened species, others include Purple cochoa, Nepal cutia and pale blue flycatcher. The Wedged billed wren-babbler, one of the rarest members of the Laughing thrush and babbler family (Timaliidae), has been found here. New species such as the water pipit, Japanese bush warbler, isabeline wheatear are reported here.


Mammals include leopard, snow leopard, golden cat, jungle cat, marbled cat and leopard cat. The critically endangered musk deer also lives at these elevations but it is confined to thick forest areas. Other mammals include gaur, serow, Himalayan black bear, sloth bear, Indian wild dog, red fox, deer, Assamese macaque, otter, squirrel and civet.


Threat


There are not many conservation problems except for poaching and collection of medicinal plants.


4. DIBRU-SAIKHOWA BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State :
Assam 
Area : 765 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Rauvolfia (Sarpagandhi), Benteak, Livistona (orchid)
Endemic Fauna : White winged wood duck, Hollock-gibbon, Wild buffalo

This reserve is situated in the south bank of the river Brahmaputra in the extreme east of Assam state and includes Dibru- Saikhowa wildlife sanctuary and Dibru- Saikhowa National Park. Bio-geographically, the area exhibits the properties of both the Indian and the Malayan sub-regions. The forest types of the reserve comprises of semi-evergreen, deciduous, littoral and swamp forest and patches of wet evergreen forest.


Flora

Major tree species of biosphere reserve are: Salix terasperma (India willow), Bishcofia javanica (Blume javanese bishopwood), Dillenia indica (Hondapara tree), Bombax ceibe (Red silk cotton tree), Lagerstromia parviflora (Landia), Anthoephalus cadamba (Indian seasde oak), Artocarpus chaplasa (Taungpienne), Mesua ferrea (Indian rose chestnut), Dalbergia sissoo (Sissoo) and Ficus spp.

Commonly found orchids of the Reserve are Rhynocostylis retusa (Blume saccolabium blumei Lindley), and Pholidota articulate (Rattlesnake-tail orchid). Grassess such as Aurondo donax (Giant reed), Phragmities karka (Flute reed), Imperata cylindrica (Japanese blood grass) and Saccharum sp. are found in the Reserve. Threatened and endangered medicinal plants of the Reserve are Rauvalfia serpentine (serpentine wood), Hydnocarpus kurizii (Chaulmoogra tree), Holarrhen antidysenterica (Conessi tree), Costus speciosus (Spiral ginger), Dioscorea alata (Winged yam ) and Dioscorea bulbifor (Air potato vine).


Fauna


36 species of mammals are recorded from the Reserve. Of these, 12 belong to Schedule I of the Indian Wildlife Protection (Act) 1972. Royal Bengal tiger, leopard, clouded leopard, jungle cat, sloth bear, golden jackal, dole, Small Indian civet, small Asian mongoose, common mongoose, common otter, Malayan giant squirrel, Pallas’ squirrel, Himalayan hoary bellied squirrel, common giant flying squirrel, Indian hare, pangolin, Himalayan mole, ground shrew, Gangetic dolphin, slow loris, capped langur, hoolock gibbon, Asian elephant, feral horses, wild boar, sambar, hog deer, barking deer and Asiatic water buffalo are the larger mammals found in the Reserve.


There are two species of monitor lizards, eight species of turtles and eight species of snakes. The turtles such as Malayan box turtle, Asian leaf turtle, spotted pond turtle, brown roofed turtle, Assam roofed turtle, Indian tent turtle, Indian soft-shell turtle and narrow headed soft-shell turtle, besides 62 species of fish have been recorded.


About 350 resident as well as migratory birds have been recorded. These include great crested grebe, spot billed pelican, white bellied pelican, lesser adjutant stork, white winged duck, Bayer’s pochard, greater spotted eagle, Bengal florican, pale capped pigeon, great pied hornbill, marsh babbler, Jordon's babbler, black breasted parrot bill, etc.


Threats

The annual floods cause a crisis for the wildlife. Grazing and siltation are also changing the habitat quality.

5. GREAT NICOBAR BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Andaman & Nicobar Islands .

Endemic Flora : Screw pine, Nipa palm, Ceylon iron wood 
Endemic Fauna : Crab eating macaque, Nicobar megapode, Giant robber crab, Nicobar serpent eagle

The Great Nicobar reserve with a total geographic area of 1044 sq.km. is the southern-most island of Andaman and Nicobar Archipelago and also the southern-most part of India. The area between the Alexandra River (West Coast) and Chengrappa Bay forms the Core zone-I and area in the southern part between Sahni and Anti Range of hills forms the Core zone-II. The core zone is kept absolutely undisturbed except for already existing settlements.


The Island presents varied natural panorama covered with virgin lush evergreen dense tropical forests extending from seacoast to the tip of the hills. This area is the home for the most endangered species, Megapode as well as the edible-nest swiftlet (Collocalia fuciphaga). The area is the home of the Shomphens, one of the most primitive tribes of India


Flora


The Great Nicobar Reserve represents the trophical rain forests. About 85 per cent of the forest in this Reserve is still in its virgin condition and rich in species content. Important species include 5 species of Ficus, 2 species of Terminalia (Gallnut), Pandanus tinctoria (Screw pine), Pinanga costata (Blume areca), Pterygota alata (Buddha’s coconut) Ipomeoea spp. (Morning glory), Casuarina sp., (Beafwood) Nypa fruticans (Nipa palm), Albizia procera (White siris), Canarium euphyllum(Makok fan), Calophyllum spp (Lagarto caspi). Syzygium cumini(Indian blackberry) , Eleocarpus sphaericus (Rudhrakhsa tree), Manilkara littoralis (Sea mohwa), Rhizophora spp., (Red mangrove), Bruguiera spp., (Large-leaved orange mangrove), Cerips tagal (Tagal mangrove), bamboo and canes. The charsteristic Tree fern (Cyathea albosetacea) as well as the beautiful ornamental orchid, the Phalanopsis (Phalaenopsis speciosa) are confined to this southern most island.


Fauna


The unique fauna of this Reserve include Crab eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis), Salt water crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Giant leather back turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Malayan box turtle, Nicobar tree shrew , Nicobar megapode, reticulated python and the Giant robber crab (Birgus lactro). Other species are Andaman wild boar, palm civet, fruit bat, Nicobar pigeon, white bellied sea eagle, Nicobar serpent eagle, parakeets, Nicobar parakeets, water and monitor lizard.


Threats


The area around the reserve is inhabited by the aboriginal tribes of Shomphens and Nicobaris who are given rights under Section 65 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. These tribes hunt wild animals, particularly the Andaman wild boar and also collect other forest and wildlife produce. Hunting of Andaman wild boar is reported to have affected the population of this endemic and endangered species. Poachers from neighbouring countries frequently visit the reserve and the nearby islands mainly for collection of sea cucumber, nests of edible-nest swift let and for poaching crocodiles, turtles and other wildlife.


6. GULF OF MANNAR BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Tamil Nadu 

Area : 10,500 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Morning glory, Jatropha, Halophila grass
Endemic Fauna : Sea Cow, Sea Anemone, Sea fans

The Gulf of Mannar reserve is the first marine Biosphere Reserve established in India and is situated along the southern coast of Tamilnadu. The Biosphere Reserve includes the Gulf, the adjoining coasts and also the small islands dotting the gulf. The reserve also includes a Marine National Park.


Flora


About 160 species of algae have been recorded here of which some 30 species are edible seaweeds. The area is also rich in sea grasses which provide food for sea mammals, particularly the dugong. The mangrove vegetation of the islands consists of species of Rhizophora (Red mangrove), Avicennia (Black mangrove) , Bruguieria (Large-leaved orange mangrove), Ceriops (Tagal mangrove) and Lumnitzera (Sandy mangrove). About 46 species of plants are endemic to Gulf of Mannar.


Fauna

The Gulf area has beautiful coral reefs that harbour a wide variety of marine vegetation and animals. Productive beds of pearl oysters, prawn species, edible bivalves, sea anemones, ascidarians and the sea cow (Dugong dugong) occur in the Reserve.

Threats


Illegal coral mining for cement industries and indiscriminate collection of sea grass is the main threat to the reserve. 65% of the existing coral reefs in the area are dead, mostly due to human interference.


7. KHANGCHENDZONGA BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Sikkim 

Area : 2,619 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Anemone, Uvaria, Sikkim Rhododendron, Sikkim Mahonia
Endemic Fauna : Tibetan sheep, Musk deer, Monal pheasant, Snow patridge

Khangchendzonga is bounded in the North by Khangchendzonga National Park and Lungnakla ridge, by the Teesta River in the East, and by reserve forests in the South and West Forest Divisions.


This reserve is one of the high altitudes reserve of the Indian continent as Khangchendzonga Peak, the third highest peak in the world exists within the reserve.  The reserve is surrounded by a number of tiny villages. The population consists of Lepcha, Bhutia and Nepalese.


Flora


The forest types of the Reserve are sub-tropical broad leaved hill forest, Himalayan wet temperate forest, and temperate broad leaved forest, mixed coniferous forest, sub-alpine a forests and dry alpine forest. Dominant species of the temperate forests are Phalat, Shrub live oak, Ghoge champ, and Cinnamon. The mixed coniferous forests occur in higher altitude with fir, East Himalayan fir, Maple, Spruce, Juniper and Rhododendron. In the Alpine scrub and grasses, the common shrubs and herbs found are Primrose, Rhododendron, bottled gentian and stagger weed. There are many medicinal herbs in the Reserve like Aconite., Kutki root, Spikenard, Rhubarb and Ginseng.


Fauna


The high altitude alpine and plateau regions harbours rare and endangered species of animals. The snowleopard of the alpine land holds the position at the apex of the biological pyramid. Himalayan red panda, musk deer, nayan or the Tibetan sheep, bharal or blud sheep, Himalayan tahr, marco polo sheep, marmots and monkeys are a few animals are found here.


This reserve also harbours many species of birds. The pheasants include monal, trogopan and blood pheasant. The other species are Tibetan snow cock, Himalayan snow cock, snow partridge, Lammergier, forest eagle owl, Tibetan horned eagle, owl, eagles, falcons, hawks, snow and rock pigeon.


Threats


Landslides are one of the important factors causing hindrance to the conservation of bio-resources, resulting in the loss of soil as well as restrictions in the movement of wildlife during migration.


8. MANAS BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Assam 

Area : 2,837 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Catechu tree, Sissoo, White siris
Endemic Fauna : Pygmy hog, Golden lungur , Assam roofed turtle

The unique location of Manas at the confluence of the Indian, Ethiopian and Indo-Chinese realm along with hot and humid climate makes this reserve a treasure of immense diversity and endemism of the flora and fauna. It is a unique representation of tropical, humid “Bengal Rain Forests” in the Indo-Malaya realm. The reserve extends along the Himalayan forest hills to the north of Brahmaputra valley. The Manas River is the largest Himalayan tributary of the Brahmaputara River. Manas was described a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1985.


Flora


Two major biomes are represented in Manas: the grassland biome (Savannah and Teri) and the forest biome (Bengal rain forests). 


Fauna


Hispid hare, pigmy hog and golden langur are some of the rare species of animals found in the park, apart from tigers, elephants, rhinoceros, wild buffalo, wild boar, ambhar, swamp deer, and hog deer. During winter Manas is full of migratory birds like the riverchats, forktails, cormorants and ducks like the Ruddy Shell-Duck. Regular woodland birds like the Indian Hornbill. And the Pied Hornbill also found here.


The pygmy hog, hispid hare and golden langur are endemics among the animals. In fact the only viable population of the smallest and rarest wild suid, the pygmy hog, exists in Manas and nowhere else in the world. In 1988, the Assam roofed turtle, perhaps the least known of the species was found in Manas and listed under the IUCN Action Plan for Conservation.


The Bodo communities are traditionally dependent on the forests for fodder, timber, firewood, thatch, wild vegetables and fruit, and fish. The other threats to the Reserve are soil erosion, weed infestation and trans-border management


9. NANDADEVI BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Uttaranchal 

Area : 5,860 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Salep Orchid, Silver weed, Fairy candelabra, Fairy Primrose
Endemic Fauna : Himalayan tahr, Brown bear, Koklas pheasant

The Nanda Devi reserve includes Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flowers National park in the core zone. Nanda Devi reserve represents the Himalayan zone of the bio-geographic zonation of India. Nanda Devi National Park was included in the list of World Heritage Site during 1991. It includes Nanda Devi and several other major peaks like Danagiri, Changbang, Trishul, etc. The reserve includes parts of Chamoli, Pithoragarh and Bagheswar districts in Uttaranchal. The main portion of the reserve falls in Chamoli district of Garhwal Himalayas. All the households depend entirely on the forests for fuel, fodder, timber and leaf litter for organic manure. Many plant species are used in traditional health care systems.


Flora


The major forest types of the Reserve are temperate forest, sub-alpine forest and alpine land. Botanical Survey of India has identified 800 species of plants. A few important species are: Potenlilla sp.,(Silver weed), Androsac sp.,(Fairy candelabra), primula sp., (Fairy primrose) Orchis latifolie (Salep orchid) and Rhododendron sp.( Satsuki azalea)


Fauna


The Biosphere Reserve has a rich fauna. The various surveys conducted by Zoological Survey of India and others have shown the presence of 18 mammals and nearly 200 birds in the area. Of these, seven mammals and eight birds are endangered species. Mammals include Snow leopard, Black bear, Brown bear, Musk deer and Himalayan tahr . Endangered bird species include the monal pheasant, koklas pheasant, western tragopan, snow-cock, golden eagle, steppe eagle, black eagle and bearded vulture.


Threats


The major threats to the ecosystem are collection of endangered plants for medicinal use, forest fires, poaching and visits by pilgrims.


10. NILGIRI BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu 

Area : 5,520 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Vanda, Liparis, Bulbophyllum, Spiranthes , Thrixspermum
Endemic Fauna : Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, Lion – tailed macaque

The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve was the first Biosphere Reserve in India. It is located in the Western Ghats and includes 2 of the 10 bio-geographical provinces of India. The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve falls under the biogeographic region of the Malabar rain forests. The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wyanaad Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valley are the protected areas present within this reserve.


Vegetation


The forest types found in the Nilgiris are thorn scrub forest, dry deciduous forest, moist deciduous forest, wet evergreen forest, shoals, grasslands, marshes and swamps. Woody climbers and epiphytes are also found here.


Flora


The reserve is very rich in plant diversity. About 3,300 species of flowering plants can be seen here. Of the 3,300 species 132 are endemic to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The genus Baeolepis is exclusively endemic to the Nilgiris. Some of the plants entirely restricted to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve include species of Calacanthus (Carolina allspice), Baeolepis (Dogbanes), Arodina and Wagatea (False Thorn) etc. Of the 175 species of orchids found in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, 8 are endemic to the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. These include endemic and endangered species of Vanda, Liparis (Lily-leaved), Bulbophyllum (Medusa’s head orchid) Spiranthes (October ladies-tresses) and Thrixspermum (Chi-tou wind orchid).


Some of the common trees found here are sandal, Indian rosewood, jackfruit, jamun, ironwood, rhododendron, hill gooseberry, etc. Many varieties of orchids and the unique kurinji shrub that produces a blue coloured flower to which the Blue Mountains owe their name are also found here. Climbers like the black pepper and numerous herbs thrive here.


Fauna


Fresh water fish such as Danio neilgheriensis (Pearl danio), Hypselobarbus dubuis and Puntius bovanicus are restricted to the reserve. The Nilgiri tahr, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, blackbuck, tiger, gaur, Indian elephant and marten are some of the animals found here.


11. NOKREK BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Meghalaya 

Area : 80 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Grand rasamala, White meranti, Lali, Chempaka, Wild lemon
Endemic Fauna : Stump tailed macaque, Pig tailed macaque, Giant flying squirrel

Nokrek Biosphere Reserve is situated in the western part of Meghalaya State. The reserve covers parts of three districts, East Garo Hills, West Garo Hills and South Garo Hills. Nokrek National Park with an area of 47.48 sq.km is the core zone of the reserve. This reserve is an important source of many perennial rivers and streams. The important river systems which originate from the area are Simsang river, Ganol river, Bugi river, Dareng river and Rongdik river.


Vegetation


The vegetation of the reserve can be broadly classified into the tropical and sub-tropical types based on the altitude. The tropical vegetation covers areas up to an elevation of about 1000 m and above. The species are of evergreen, semi-evergreen, moist deciduous types, including bamboo thickets, grasses and riverine forests. Important plant species are Altingia excelsa (Grand rasamala), Shorea assamica (White meranti) , Bambusa pallida (Bamboo), Amoora wallichi (Lali) and Michelia insignis (Chempaka).


Fauna


The area harbours many rare, endangered and endemic faunal species like hoolock gibbon, binturong, stump tailed macaque, pig tailed macaque, Himalayan black bear, tiger, leopard, elephant, Giant flying squirrel, etc.


12. PANNA NATIONAL PARK


Panna National Park is a national park located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh in India. It was declared in 1994 as the twenty second Tiger reserve of India and the fifth in Madhya Pradesh.  It is notable that by 2009, the entire tiger population had been eliminated by poaching with the collusion of forest department official


The National Park is situated at a point where the continuity of the Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests belt, which starts from Cape Comorin in South India, is broken and beyond this the Upper Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests of the great Indo-Gangetic Plain begins. This area is the northernmost tip of the natural teak forests and the easternmost tip of the natural 'Kardhai' Anogeissus pendula forests.


The forests of Panna National Park along with Ken Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary and adjoining territorial divisions form a significant part of the catchment area of the Ken River which runs northeast through the park.


FAUNA


Among the animals found here are the tiger, chital, chinkara, sambhar and sloth bear. The park is home to more than 200 species of birds including the Bar-headed Goose, Honey Buzzard, King Vulture and Blossom-headed Parakeet.


13. PACHMARHI BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Madhya Pradesh 

Area : 4,926 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Sal tree, Selaginella fern, Palimorpha bamboo
Endemic Fauna : Barasinga, Wild buffalo, Red jungle fowl

Pachmarhi reserve covers three districts of Hoshangabad, Betul and Chindwara. This reserve encompasses three wildlife conservation units viz. Bori Sanctuary, Pachmarhi Sanctuary and Satpura National Park. 


Flora


The most important timber species of the Biosphere Reserve are teak and sal. Species such as Whisk Fern, Sandbar willow, stalked adder’s tongue fern and Tree fern are found here. A few clumps of rare and endemic species like bamboo occur in the moist teak forest of Bori Reserve.


Fauna


The steep vertical scarps are home to numerous raptors like honey buzzard, serpent eagle and black eagle. Common birds found in the reserve are red jungle fowl, Malabar pied hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush and paradise flycatcher. The reptilian population include geckos, skinks, etc. Several species like rhesus monkey, Indian giant squirrel and flying squirrels are endemic to the area.


14. SIMILIPAL BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : Orissa 

Area : 4,374 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Coix grass
Endemic Fauna : Red breasted falconet, Slender billed scimitar babbler, Ruddy mongoose

Similipal is situated in the northern region of Orissa and includes the Eastern Plateau, Chotangpur Plateau, Lower Gangetic Plain and the Coastline biotic areas. It is the richest watershed in Orissa, giving rise to many perennial rivers like the Buydhabalanga, Khadkeri, Khairi, Bhandan, West Deo, Saltandi, East Deo, Somja and Palpala. The vegetation types are tropical semi evergreen, tropical moist deciduous hill forest, grassland and savannah. 


Flora


The important plant species are Terminalia arjuna (Myrobalan), Dalbergea sisso (Sissoo), Michelia champa (Champak), Shorea robusta (Sal tree) and Madhuca sp. (India butter tree).


Fauna


The important species are elephant, tiger and leopard, fishing cat, four horned antelope, rudy mongoose, red breasted falconets and grey headed fishing eagle.


Threats


The high dependency of tribal people on the reserve for their livelihood is a problem for sustainable management of the reserve. The other threats are forest fire, firewood collection, poaching and akhand shikar (annual poaching festival by tribes).


15. SUNDARBANS BIOSPHERE RESERVE


State : West Bengal 

Area : 9,630 sq. km.
Endemic Flora : Sundari, Passur, Nypa
Endemic Fauna : Bengal tiger, Bengal monitor lizard, Salvator lizard

Sunderban is the largest contiguous mangrove area in the world and one of the World Heritage Sites of India designated by the World Heritage Convention. This biosphere reserve is located in the vast Delta of the Ganges, south of Calcutta. It is the largest and only mangrove reserve in the world inhabited by tigers. This reserve includes the Royal Bengal Tiger Reserve, Sundarban National Park and three wildlife sanctuaries, viz Sajnekhali wildlife sanctuary, Lothian Island wildlife sanctuary and Holiday Island wildlife sanctuary.


Flora


Tropical humid forest and mangroves are the major ecosystem types of the reserve. Mangrove species such as Avicennia alba, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Ceriops tagal and Rhizophora apiculata are the major species. Tropical semi-evergreen forest, agro-ecosystems, silviculture, pisiculture, prawn culture are the major habitats of the reserve.


Rare and endangered plant species of the reserve are Acanthus volubilis (Acanthe molle) , Nypa fruiticans (Nipah palm) , Sonneratia alba (Mangrove apple), Soneratia casaeolaris (Crabapple mangrove) , Aegialtis rotundifolia (Nilar ixora manila), Xylocarpus granatum (Cannonball mangrove) , Heritiera fomes (Sundari) , Ceriops tagal (Tagal mangrove ) and Lumnitzera recemosa (Sandy mangrove)


Fauna


Animal species include Tiger (Pathera tigris tigris), Saltwater crocodile (Crocodilus porasus), Fishing Cat (Felis viverrina), Indian Leopard cat (Felis bengalesis), Yellow monitor (Varanus flaveseens), Olive ridley sea turtle (Lipidochelys olivacea), Hawksbill sea turtle (Ertmochetys imbricate) and Green sea turtle (Chelonia myrdus ).


Threats


People living within the biosphere reserve depend on forest and forest-based resources. The main threats include excess fishing, aquaculture practices and harvesting of timber and firewood


16. Ran of Kachh: 


State: Gujarat

Area: 12454

It is a seasonal salt marsh located in the Thar Desert. Important fauna found here are Wild Ass, Striped hyena, Indian gazelle, Jackal, Desert fox, Desert cat, Caracal, Wolf. In this reserve there is Wild Ass Sanctuary which is internationally famous for the endangered Indian wild ass. It  is home to over 4,000 Wild Ass. It has great historical and cultural significance. In ancient times, Dholavira, Kaladungar (black hills) and numerous water bodies supported a large number of migratory birds on Khadir Bet.


17. Cold desert


State: Jammu and Kashmir & Himachal Pradesh

Area: 7770 Sq Km

The Cold Desert of India is known for specific topography, severe climate and unique vegetation.. It includes parts of Ladakh district in Jammu and Kashmir, and Lahaul and Spiti districts in Himachal Pradesh. It represents various biophysical features and unique values of Trans Himalayan Cold Desert Ecosystem. This is mostly dominated by herbaceous and scrubs vegetation.


18. Seshachalam Hills


State: Andhra Pradesh

Area: 4755.997 Sq Km

Important Fauna found in this reserve are Slender loris, Indian giant squirrel, Mouse deer, Golden gecko and it has rich flora. It is home to 1756 species of flowering plants besides 178 species of birds, some of them very rare, thriving in the forests.


The Seshachalam forest ranges spread over an area of 4,755 square kilometres is not only rich in plant diversity but is also home to many endangered animals which is why it has been declared a bio-diversity sphere in the year 2010. The region also is a domicile for hundreds of natural springs and waterfalls.


Threat:


Major threat is occurrence of forest fire.




 


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