Biosphere reserves of India


India is home to 18 biosphere reserves, which are designated by UNESCO under its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. These reserves are representative of a variety of ecosystems, from the Himalayas to the Thar Desert, and they play an important role in conserving biodiversity and promoting sustainable development.

Here is a list of the biosphere reserves in India:

Part of World network

Twelve 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.
#NameStates/ UTYear
1Nilgiri Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka2000
2Gulf of Mannar Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu2001
3Sundarbans Biosphere ReserveWest Bengal2001
4Nanda Devi Biosphere ReserveUttarakhand2004
5Nokrek Biosphere ReserveMeghalaya2009
6Pachmarhi Biosphere ReserveMadhya Pradesh2009
7Simlipal Biosphere ReserveOdisha2009
8Great Nicobar Biosphere ReserveAndaman & Nicobar Islands2013
9Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere ReserveChhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh2012
10Agasthyamalai Biosphere ReserveKerala and Tamil Nadu2016
11Khangchendzonga National ParkSikkim2018
12Panna Biosphere ReserveMadhya Pradesh2020

List of biosphere reserves in India

Biosphere reserves of India
Sr No.YearNameLocationStateTypeKey faunaArea (km2)
11980Nilgiri Biosphere ReservePart of Waynad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent ValleyKarnataka, Tamil Nadu and KeralaWestern GhatsNilgiri tahr, tiger, lion-tailed macaque5520
21988Nanda Devi Biosphere ReserveParts of Chamoli District, Pithoragarh District & Bageshwar DistrictUttarakhandWestern HimalayasSnow leopard, Himalayan black bear5860
31988NokrekIn West Garo HillsMeghalayaEastern hillsRed panda820.00 
41989Gulf of MannarIndian part of Gulf of Mannar extending from Rameswaram island in the north to Kanyakumari in the south of Tamil Nadu and Sri LankaTamil NaduCoastsDugong10500
51989SundarbansPart of delta of Ganges and Brahmaputra river systemWest BengalGangetic DeltaRoyal Bengal tiger9630
61989ManasPart of Kokrajhar, Bongaigaon, Barpeta, Nalbari, Kamrup and Darrang DistrictsAssamEastern HillsAsiatic elephant, tiger, Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur, pygmy hog2837
71989Great Nicobar Biosphere ReserveSouthernmost of the Andaman and Nicobar IslandsAndaman and Nicobar IslandsIslandsSaltwater crocodile885
81994SimlipalPart of Mayurbhanj districtOdishaDeccan PeninsulaGaur, royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant4374
91998Dihang-DibangPart of Siang and Dibang ValleyArunachal PradeshEastern HimalayaMishmi takin, musk deer5112
101997Dibru-SaikhowaPart of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districtsAssamEastern HillsWhite-winged wood duck, water buffalo, black-breasted parrotbill, tiger, capped langur765
111999Pachmarhi Biosphere ReserveParts of Betul District, Hoshangabad District and Chhindwara DistrictMadhya PradeshSemi-AridGiant squirrel, flying squirrel4981.72
122000Khangchendzonga National ParkParts of KangchenjungaSikkimEast HimalayasSnow leopard, red panda2620
132001Agasthyamalai Biosphere ReserveNeyyar, Peppara and Shenduruny Wildlife Sanctuary and their adjoining areasKerala, Tamil NaduWestern GhatsNilgiri tahr, Asian elephant3500.08
142005Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere ReservePart of Annupur, Dindori and Bilaspur districtsMadhya Pradesh, ChhattisgarhMaikal HillsFour-horned antelope, Indian wild dog, sarus crane, white-rumped vulture, sacred grove bush frog3835
152008Great Rann of KutchPart of Kutch, Morbi, Surendranagar and Patan districts; the largest biosphere reserve in India.GujaratDesertIndian wild ass12454
162009Cold DesertPin Valley National Park and surroundings; Chandratal and Sarchu & Kibber Wildlife SanctuaryHimachal PradeshWestern HimalayasSnow leopard7770
172010Seshachalam HillsSeshachalam Hill Ranges covering parts of Chittoor and Kadapa districtsAndhra PradeshEastern HillsSlender loris4755.997
182022PannaPart of Panna and Chhattarpur districts in Madhya PradeshMadhya PradeshMoist deciduous forestBengal tiger, Chinkara, Nilgai, Sambhar sambar deer, and Sloth bear2998.98

Here are the iconic key faunas of major biosphere reserves in India:

NameKey fauna
Nilgiri Biosphere ReserveLion Tailed Macaque , Nilgiri Tahr, Malabar Giant Squirrel, Nilgiri Langur
Nanda DeviSnow Leopard, Musk Deer, Bharal Or Blue Sheep
NokrekRed Panda, Hoolock Gibbons, Red Giant Flying Squirrel
Great NicobarDugong, Saltwater Crocodile
Gulf of MannarDugong, Olive Ridley turtles
ManasAssam Roofed Turtle, Hispid Hare, Golden Langur, Pygmy Hog , Wild Water Buffalo, Bengal florican 
SunderbansRoyal Bengal Tiger
SimlipalRoyal Bengal Tigers, Wild Elephants, Gaurs ( Indian Bison), Chausingha
Dibru-SaikhowaBengal Tiger, Clouded Leopard, Gangetic Dolphin
Dehang-DibangTakin, Red Panda
PachmarhiTiger, Gaur, Indian Giant Flying Squirrels
KhangchendzongaRed Panda, Snow Leopard, Musk Deer, Great Tibetan Sheep
AgasthyamalaiNilgiri Tahr
Achanakamar – AmarkantakFour Horned Antelope, Indian Wild Dog
Great Rann of Kutch (Kachchh)Great Indian Bustard, Indian Wild Ass
Cold DesertSnow Leopard, Himalayan Ibex 
Seshachalam HillsRed Sanders, Golden Gecko
PannaTiger, Chital, Chinkara, Sambar

Biosphere reserves are important for a number of reasons. They:

  • Protect biodiversity
  • Promote sustainable development
  • Provide research and education opportunities

Biosphere reserves also play an important role in raising awareness of the importance of conservation. By visiting a biosphere reserve, people can learn about the different ecosystems that exist in India and the importance of protecting them.

In addition to the biosphere reserves, India also has a number of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and other protected areas. These areas play an important role in conserving biodiversity and ensuring the survival of endangered species.

India is committed to conserving its natural heritage and has made significant progress in recent years. The country’s network of protected areas is one of the largest in the world, and it is home to a wide variety of plants and animals.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about biosphere reserves:

What are biosphere reserves?

Biosphere reserves are designated by UNESCO as part of its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme. They are areas of land and water that are internationally recognized for their unique biodiversity and cultural values. Biosphere reserves are managed to promote sustainable development, which means balancing the conservation of biodiversity with the needs of human communities.

How many biosphere reserves are there in India?

There are 18 biosphere reserves in India. They represent a variety of ecosystems, from the Himalayas to the Thar Desert.

What are the goals of biosphere reserves?

The goals of biosphere reserves are to:

  • Conserve biodiversity
  • Promote sustainable development
  • Provide research and education opportunities
  • Raise awareness of conservation issues

What are some of the key faunas found in India’s biosphere reserves?

India’s biosphere reserves are home to a wide variety of plants and animals, including many threatened and endangered species. Some of the key faunas found in India’s biosphere reserves include:

  • Tigers
  • Elephants
  • Rhinos
  • Lions
  • Snow leopards
  • Red pandas
  • Pangolins
  • Sea turtles
  • Dolphins

What are some of the challenges facing biosphere reserves?

Biosphere reserves face a number of challenges, including:

  • Habitat loss
  • Poaching
  • Climate change
  • Human-wildlife conflict

What can be done to protect biosphere reserves?

There are a number of things that can be done to protect biosphere reserves, including:

  • Raising awareness of the importance of biosphere reserves
  • Supporting conservation efforts
  • Promoting sustainable development
  • Advocating for policies that protect biosphere reserves

What are the benefits of biosphere reserves?

Biosphere reserves provide a number of benefits, including:

  • Protecting biodiversity
  • Promoting sustainable development
  • Providing research and education opportunities
  • Raising awareness of conservation issues

How can I get involved in biosphere reserve conservation?

There are a number of ways that you can get involved in biosphere reserve conservation, including:

  • Volunteering your time at a biosphere reserve
  • Supporting conservation organizations
  • Educating others about the importance of biosphere reserves
  • Advocating for policies that protect biosphere reserves

Biosphere reserves are important for the conservation of biodiversity and the promotion of sustainable development. By working together, we can ensure that these vital areas are protected for futuras generations.


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