Biosphere reserves are protected areas that are meant for the conservation of natural plants and animals. They play an important role in maintaining the ecological balance of the earth. UNESCO launched the program of biosphere reserve network in 1971. To protect larger areas of natural habitat, the Indian government has established 18 biosphere reserves in India.
You should know that Biosphere reserves are not only for the protection of flora and fauna but also for human communities. In today’s post, we are going to provide all the necessary details related to the Biosphere Reserves in India.
Latest: Khovsgol Lake National Park Mongolia is the new member of UNESCO Reserve List.
List of Biosphere Reserves in India
As mentioned above there are 18 Biosphere reserves in India. The list of the same is given below. Please note down and remember the list as you may see questions in competitive exam under GK section.
|Name of the Biosphere Reserves||State||Year||Area in Kilometer square|
|Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka||1986||5520|
|Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve||Uttarakhand||1988||5860|
|Gulf of Mannar||Tamil Nadu||1989||10500|
|Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve||Madhya Pradesh||1999||4981.72|
|Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere||Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh||2005||3835|
|Great Rann of Kutch||Gujarat||2008||12454|
|Cold Desert||Himachal Pradesh||2009||7770|
|Khangchendzonga National Park||Sikkim||2000||2620|
|Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve||Kerala, Tamil Nadu||2001||3500.08|
|Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||1989||885|
|Seshachalam Hills||Andhra Pradesh||2010||4755.997|
UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserves in India 2023 – International Status
According to the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list, 12 out of 18 biosphere reserves are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves. The list of these UNESCO Protected Biosphere Reserves in India in 2023 is given below.
|Name of the Biosphere Reserves||Location||Year|
|Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Part of Waynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley||2000|
|Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve||Indian part of Gulf of Mannar extending from Rameswaram island in the north to Kanyakumari in the south of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka||2001|
|Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve||Part of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river system||2001|
|Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve||Parts of Chamoli District, Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar District||2004|
|Nokrek Biosphere Reserve||In west Garo Hills||2009|
|Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve||Parts of Betul District, Hoshangabad District and Chhindwara District||2009|
|Simlipal Biosphere Reserve||Part of Mayurbhanj district||2009|
|Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve||Southernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands||2013|
|Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve||Part of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur districts||2012|
|Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve||Neyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areas||2016|
|Khangchendzonga National Park||Parts of Kangchenjunga||2018|
|Panna Biosphere Reserve||Part of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya Pradesh||2020|
Potential Biosphere Reserves in India
Given below is the list of potential sites for Biosphere Reserves as selected by Ministry of Forests and Environment:
- Abujmarh – Chhattisgarh
- Andaman and Nicobar – North Islands
- Chintapalli – Visakhapatnam Andhra Pradesh
- Kanha – Madhya Pradesh
- Kovalam – Kerala
- Lakshadweep Islands – Lakshadweep
- Little Rann of Kutch – Gujarat
- Phawngpui (Blue Mountain) – Mizoram
- Namdapha – Arunachal Pradesh
- Singhbhum – Jharkhand
- Tawang and West Kameng – Arunachal Pradesh
- Thar Desert – Rajasthan
- Tadoba National Park and Sanjay Gandhi National Park – Maharashtra
Frequently Asked Questions – Important for Competitive Exams
Question – 1: Which is the largest Biosphere Reserve in India?
Answer: Gulf of Kachchh in Gujarat is the largest Biosphere Reserve in India.
Question – 2: Which is the smallest Biosphere Reserve in India?
Answer: Dibru – Saikhowa in Assam is the smallest Biosphere Reserve in India.
Question – 3: Which is the first Biosphere Reserve in India?
Answer: The first Biosphere Reserve in India is the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (part of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka).
Question – 4: What is the difference between a national park and a biosphere reserve?
Answer: The main difference between them is that the aim of a national park and a biosphere reserve is different. The national parks are created to reserve land owned by the government to protect it from industrialization, human exploitation, and pollution. On the other hand, a biosphere reserve is a term used for an area that is reserved for the conservation of the resources of the biosphere and the improvement of the relationship between man and the environment.
Question – 5: Can you explain the distribution of Biosphere reserves across the world?
Answer: The distribution of Biosphere reserves across various continents in the world is given below.
- 85 reserves in 31 countries in Africa
- 33 reserves in 12 countries in the Arab States
- 157 reserves in 24 countries in Asia and the Pacific
- 302 reserves in 38 countries in Europe and North America
- 130 reserves in 21 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.