Wildlife of India and Biosphere Reserves

The wildlife of India includes animals of any habitat in nature. Wild animals are non-domesticated animals and include both vertebrates and invertebrates.

Vertebrates are known as fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, and invertebrates are known as bees, butterflies, moths, etc. Here is the list of Vertebrates and Invertebrates.

India has rich and diversified wildlife. The Indian fauna consists of about 81,251 species of animals out of the world’s total of about 1.5 million species.

The Fauna diversity of the country consists of about 6500 invertebrates, 5000 mollusks, 2546 fishes, 1228 birds, 458 mammals, 446 reptiles, 204 amphibians, 4 panthers and about 60,000 species of insects.

Learning Note

  • The Nilgiri Tahr is facing a major threat in the Western Ghats. Continuous poaching activities and Eucalyptus cultivation hampering its habitat, the Nilgiri Tahr population is continuously decreasing.
  • The Black Buck is the state animal of Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.

India is home to tigers, lions, leopards, snow leopards, pythons, wolves, foxes, bears, crocodiles, rhinoceroses, camels, wild dogs, monkeys, snakes, antelope species, deer species, varieties of bison and the mighty Asian elephant.

Hunting, poaching, deforestation, and other anthropogenic interferences in the natural habitats have caused the extinction of some species and many are facing the danger of extinction.

In view of this and the role of wild life in maintaining ecological balance, conservation and management of biodiversity of India is necessary at present situation.

The Indian Board for Wildlife (IBWL) was constituted in 1952 to suggest means of protection, conservation and management of wildlife to the government.

The Government of India enacted Wildlife (Protection) Act in 1972 with the objective of effectively protecting the wild life of the country and to control poaching, smuggling and illegal trade in wildlife and its diversities.

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in 1992 recognizes the sovereign rights of states to use their own Biological Resources. In India, there are 102 National Parks and about 515 Wildlife Sanctuaries.

Biosphere Reserves

The Indian government has established 18 Biosphere Reserves in India which protect larger areas of natural habitat and often include one or more National Parks preserves along with buffer zones that are open to some economic uses.

List of Biosphere reserves in India

Below is the list of 18 Biosphere Reserves with their location:

  1. Achanakmar-Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh
  2. Agasthyamalai in Kerala
  3. Dibru Saikhowa in Assam
  4. Dihang Dibang in Arunachal Pradesh
  5. Great Nicobar in Andaman Nicobar Islands
  6. Gulf of Mannar in Tamil Nadu
  7. Kachch in Gujarat
  8. Kanchenjunga in Sikkim
  9. Manas in Assam
  10. Nanda Devi in Uttarakhand
  11. The Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu
  12. Nokrek in Meghalaya
  13. Pachmarhi in Madhya Pradesh
  14. Simlipal in Odisha
  15. Sundarbans in West Bengal
  16. Cold desert in Himachal Pradesh
  17. Sesahachalam hills in Andhra Pradesh
  18. Panna in Madhya Pradesh

World network Biosphere Reserves

Out of 18, 11 biosphere reserves of India fall under the list of World Network Biosphere programs of UNESCO.

  1. Gulf of Mannar
  2. Nandadevi
  3. The Nilgiris
  4. Nokrek
  5. Pachmarhi
  6. Simlipal
  7. Sundarbans
  8. Agasthiyamalai
  9. Great Nicobar
  10. Kanjanjunga
  11. Amarkantak

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