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Biosphere Reserves | Resources | Geography of India

Biosphere Reserves:
The following is a timeline of Biosphere reserves:
  • 1971: UNESCO Started Biosphere Reserve Network.
  • 1973: MAB( Man and Biosphere program was started by UNESCO)
  • 1979: First Biosphere Reserve in the world was established.
  • 1986: First Biosphere of India, Nilgiri was established.
  • 2011: Panna Biosphere reserve was the 18th of India's Biosphere Reserve.
  • 2020: Panna Biosphere reserve was included in MAB.
  • 2021: 
    • There are 714 Biosphere reserves in the world.
    • 18 Biospheres in India
    • 12 MAB Biosphere in India

What is the difference between the national park and wildlife sanctuary and biosphere reserve?
In area wise:
National park < Wildlife sanctuary < Biosphere reserve
In the biosphere reserve, there can be many national parks and wildlife sanctuaries. The biosphere reserve is not only used for the protection of fauna and flora but also for tribal peoples.

Zones in the Biosphere reserve
Zones in the Biosphere reserve

Three types of zones are in the biosphere reserve:

  • Core Zone: Most protected
  • Buffer Zone: Comparable less protected to the Core zone but high protected than the transitional zone.
  • Transition Zone: Lesser protected than Core and buffer zone.
Three major objectives of the Biosphere reserve:
  • Conservation
  • Development
  • Logistic support

Biosphere reserves in India
Biosphere reserves in India

As of 2019, There are 18 Biosphere reserves, approximately 101 national parks, and approx. 553 Wildlife sanctuaries. 12( Panna Biosphere reserve is included in 2020) out of 18 Biosphere reserves are internationally recognized UNESCO Man and biosphere reserves (MAB).
The following are the 18 Biosphere reserves that are arranged from north to south in India.
Sr no
Name
State
Importance
1
Cold Desert
Himachal Pradesh
Snow Leopards, Pin Valley National Park


2
Nanda Devi (MAB)
Uttarakhand 
Sensitive areas
Temperate forest, snow leopard, brown and black bear, medicinal plants,


3
Dehand Dibang
Arunachal Pradesh
Dibang Valley, Red, Panda



4
Kanchenjunga (MAB)
Sikkim
Red Panda, Snow Leopards


5
Manas
Assam
Red Panda, Golden Langur

6
Dibru Saikhowa
Assam
Golden Langur

7
Nokrek (MAB)
Meghalaya
Red panda

8
Panna
MP
Tiger, Sloth Bear

9
Kutch
Gujrat
Indian Wild Ass

10
Achanak Amarkantak (MAB)
MP, Chhatisgarh
Maikal Hills, Amarkantak hills,
11
Pachmarhi (MAB)
MP
Flying Squirrel, Tiger

12
Sundarban (MAB)
West Bengal
Royal Bengal Tiger

13
Simlipal (MAB)
Odisha
Wild Elephant


14
Seshachalam

Andhra Pradesh
flowering plant, sandalwood, hill
15
Great Nicobar(MAB)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Saltwater Crocodile


16
Nil Giri (MAB)
Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka
Nilgiri Tahr, Lion-tailed macaque, Several dry shrubs.
Dry and moist deciduous, semi-evergreen forest, wet evergreen forest, evergreen Sholas forest, Grassland, and Swamp. Nilgiri tahr, lion-tailed macaque.


17
Gulf of Mannar (MAB)
Tamil Nadu
21 islands, estuaries, beaches, forests, seagrasses, coral reef, Sea cow, or Dugong


18
Agasthyamalai (MAB)
Kerala, Tamil Nadu
Elephant, Nilgiri Tahr




Try  to solve the following questions:
Give an account of the nature of the biosphere as an ecosystem. (UPSC 2014, 150 words, 10 marks)



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