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Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site
- 23 Nov 2022
- 3 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the Tamil Nadu Government issued a notification declaring Arittapatti in Melur block, Madurai district, a Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS).
- It is Tamil Nadu’s first and India’s 35th Biodiversity Heritage Site.
What are the Key Facts about Arittapatti?
- Arittapatti village is rich in ecological and historical significance, it houses around 250 species of birds including three important raptors, birds of prey namely:
- Laggar Falcon
- Shaheen Falcon
- Bonelli’s Eagle
- It is also home to wildlife such as the Indian Pangolin, Slender Loris and Pythons.
- The biodiversity-rich area is surrounded by a chain of seven hillocks or inselbergs that serve as a watershed, charging ‘72 lakes, 200 natural springs and three check dams.’
- The Anaikondan Lake, built during the reign of Pandiyan kings in the 16th century is one among them.
- Several megalithic structures, rock-cut temples, Tamil Brahmi inscriptions and Jain beds add to the historical significance of the region.
What is a Biodiversity Heritage Site?
- Biodiversity heritage sites are well-defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems with high diversity of wild and domesticated species, presence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species.
- Legal Provision:
- As per provision under Section 37(1) of ‘Biological Diversity Act, 2002’, The State Government may, from time to time in consultation with the local bodies, notify in the Official Gazette, areas of biodiversity importance as under this Act.
- Creation of BHS may not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those voluntarily decided by them. The purpose is to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through conservation measures.
- First BHS of India:
- Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka was the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of India, declared in 2007.
- Last Five Additions to BHS:
- Debbari or Chabimura in Tripura (September 2022)
- Betlingshib & its surroundings in Tripura (September 2022)
- Hajong Tortoise Lake in Assam (August 2022)
- Borjuli Wild Rice Site in Assam (August 2022)
- Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh (July 2022)