Biosphere Reserves are large areas of bio diversity where flora and fauna are protected. These regions of environmental protection roughly correspond to IUCN Category V Protected areas. The Indian government has established 18 Biosphere Reserves of India, which protect larger areas of natural habitat (than a National Park or Wildlife Sanctuary).
Biosphere Reserves of India often include one or more National Parks or sanctuaries, along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses. Protection is granted not only to the flora and fauna of the protected region, but also to the human communities who inhabit these regions, and their ways of life.
List of Biosphere Reserves of India
|Sl. No||Year||Name||State||Type||Key Fauna|
|1||2008||Great Rann of Kutch||Gujarat||Desert||Indian Wild Ass|
|2||1989||Gulf of Mannar||Tamil Nadu||Coasts||Dugong or Sea Cow|
|3||1989||Sundarbans||West Bengal||Gangetic Delta||Royal Bengal Tiger|
|4||2009||Cold Desert||Himachal Pradesh||Western Himalayas||Snow Leopard|
|5||1988||Nanda Devi||Uttarakhand||Western Himalayas||NA|
|6||1986||Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve||Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka||Western Ghats||Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed macaque|
|7||1998||Dihang-Dibang||Arunachal Pradesh||Eastern Himalaya||NA|
|8||1999||Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve||Madhya Pradesh||Semi-Arid||Giant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel|
|9||2010||Seshachalam Hills||Andhra Pradesh||Eastern Ghats||NA|
|10||1994||Simlipal||Odisha||Deccan Peninsula||Gaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, Wild elephant|
|11||2005||Achanakamar -Amarkantak||Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh||Maikala Hills||NA|
|12||1989||Manas||Assam||East Himalayas||Golden Langur, Red Panda|
|13||2000||Khangchendzonga||Sikkim||East Himalayas||Snow Leopard, Red Panda|
|14||2001||Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve||Kerala, Tamil Nadu||Western ghats||Nilgiri Tahr, Elephants|
|15||1989||Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve||Andaman and Nicobar Islands||Islands||Saltwater Crocodile|
|16||1988||Nokrek||Meghalaya||East Himalayas||Red Panda|
|17||1997||Dibru-Saikhowa||Assam||East Himalayas||Golden Langur|
|18||2011||Panna||Madhya Pradesh||Ken River||Tiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambharand Sloth bear|
Biosphere Reserves of India in World Network of Biosphere Reserves
Nine of the eighteen biosphere reserves of India are a part of the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, based on the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme list. They are given in ‘bold’ in the above list.
Differences between Biosphere Reserves, National Park and Wild Life Sactuaries
Biosphere Reserves are the biggest entity among the three. The level of restriction in the increasing order is Biosphere Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries and National Parks. The Indian government has established 18 Biosphere Reserves of India, roughly corresponding to IUCN Category V Protected areas. India has over 441 animal sanctuaries, referred to as Wildlife sanctuaries (IUCN Category IV Protected Area). The National parks of India are IUCN category II protected areas. As of April 2012, there were 102 national parks in India and more parks on the process of getting commissioned.