List of Biosphere Reserves in India for APSC & Competitive Exams

18 Biosphere Reserves in India 2022 : Structure & Functions of a Biosphere Reserve

Hello, aspirants are you preparing for UPSC/APSC or any other Govt Exams 2022? If yes, then you must be aware of the most important India GK Quiz for APSC Prelims & Mains for the upcoming exam preparation from geography. Therefore every aspirants need to know the Full List of Biosphere Reserves in India for APSC & Competitive Exams and other all India & state level govt exams. In this regard "World_Polity" decides to provide you the most important List of 18 Biosphere Reserves in India for Upcoming Competitive Exams. Infact the 18 Biosphere Reserves in India 2022 is one among the foremost relevant and important parts of the Exams like UPSC/State PSC/SSC and lots of other Competitive Exams. Therefore read carefully entire detail of the List of latest 18 Biosphere Reserves in India 2022 : Structure & Functions of a Biosphere Reserve for the aspirants of different kind of competitive exams.

List of Biosphere Reserves in India for APSC & Competitive Exams

Biosphere Reserves in India

List of Latest Biosphere Reserves in India 2022

In this article we have provided you most important List of Latest Biosphere Reserves in India 2022. So, read these most important Biosphere Reserves in India for the upcoming UPSC - APSC Prelims & Mains exam as well as other govt exams.

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18 Biosphere Reserves in India : Structure and Functions

In order to succeed in the prestigious competitive examination, it is important that the aspirant has access to the latest updated 18 Biosphere Reserves in India. Specially the toppers of UPSC/APSC recommend that aspirant start their preparation with the latest India GK topics such as Biosphere Reserves in India for the upcoming exams.

Biosphere Reserves in India 2022 for APSC

If you are preparing for any Government Exam you can expect one or two questions from the most important Biosphere Reserves in India. Biosphere reserves are an important topic for UPSC Prelims 2022. Every year aspirants can find questions based on biosphere reserves in UPSC CSE Prelims. The good thing about these types of questions is that these are ‘either you know or you don’t’ type questions. If you mark it, it is highly probable that you will mark it right. We highly recommend you to go through this list a few times, to have a good grasp on this topic.

List of 18 Biosphere Reserves in India 2022

Biosphere reserves are ‘learning places for sustainable development’. They are sites for testing interdisciplinary approaches to understanding and managing changes and interactions between social and ecological systems, including conflict prevention and management of biodiversity. They are places that provide local solutions to global challenges. Biosphere reserves include terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each site promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.

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Biosphere reserves are nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located. Biosphere Reserves are designated under the intergovernmental MAB Programme by the Director-General of UNESCO following the decisions of the MAB International Coordinating Council (MAB ICC). Their status is internationally recognized. Member States can submit sites through the designation process.

This program was initiated by UNESCO in 1971.

This program recognizes areas which are:

• The world’s most typical terrestrial and coastal ecosystems.

• That exhibit approaches ton live and works in harmony with nature.

• That demonstrates the achievement of a sustainable balance between conserving natural ecosystems and biodiversity.

There are 727 biosphere reserves in 131 countries, including 22 transboundary sites. They are distributed as follows:

‌• 86 sites in 31 countries in Africa

‌• 35 sites in 14 countries in the Arab States

‌• 168 sites in 40 countries in Asia and the Pacific

‌• 306 sites in 24 countries in Europe and North America

‌• 132 sites in 22 countires Latin America and the Caribbean.

‌• There are 18 biosphere reserves in India

Structure and Functions of BR

Biosphere reserves are demarcated into following 3 inter-related zones :

Core Zone : Core zone must contain suitable habitat for numerous plant and animal species, including higher order predators and may contain centres of endemism. Core areas often conserve the wild relatives of economic species and also represent important genetic reservoirs having exceptional scientific interest. A core zone being National Park or Sanctuary/protected/regulated mostly under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Whilst realizing that perturbation is an ingredient of ecosystem functioning, the core zone is to be kept free from l human pressures external to the system.

Buffer Zone : The buffer zone, adjoins or surrounds core zone, uses and activities are managed in this area in the ways that help in protection of core zone in its natural condition. These uses and activities include restoration, demonstration sites for enhancing value addition to the resources, limited recreation, tourism, fishing, grazing, etc; which are permitted to reduce its effect on core zone. Research and educational activities are to be encouraged. Human activities, if natural within BR, are likely to continue if these do not adversely affect the ecological diversity.

Transition Zone : The transition area is the outermost part of a biosphere reserve. This is usually not delimited one and is a zone of cooperation where conservation knowledge and management skills are applied and uses are managed in harmony with the purpose of the biosphere reserve. This includes settlements, crop lands, managed forests and area for intensive recreation and other economic uses characteristics of the region.

Functions of a Biosphere Reserve

Each biosphere reserve is supposed to fulfill three harmonizing functions:

Conservation function : to conserve genetic resources, species, ecosystems, and landscapes

Development function : to promote sustainable human and economic development.

Logistic support function : to provide support for research and analysing the issues of conservation and sustainable development.

List of Biosphere Reserves in India:

SI NO.NameYearStateKey faunaArea(Km2)
1Nilgiri (first)1986Tamil Nadu,


Kerala, Karnataka

Nilgiri Tahr, Macaque5520
2Nanda Devi1988UttarakhandHimalayan Musk deer, tahr, snow leopard5860
3Nokrek1988MeghalayaRed panda820
4Great Nicobar1989Andaman & NicobarSaltwater crocodile885
5Gulf Of Manner1989Tamil NaduDugong or sea cow10500
6Manas1989AssamGolden Langur, Red panda2837
7Sundarban1989West BengalRoyal Bengal Tiger9630
8Similipal1994OdishaGaur, Royal Bengal Tiger, wild elephant4374
9Dibru Saikhowa(smallest)1997AssamGolden Langur765
10Dihang Dibang1998Arunachal PradeshRed panda, Asiatic black deer5112
11Panchmarhi1999MadhyapradeshGiant Squirrel, Flying Squirrel4981.72
12Kangchendzonga2000SikkimRed panda, Snow Leopard2620
13Agasthyamalai2001TamilNadu, KeralaNilgiri Tahr, Elephant3500.08
14Achanakamar-Amarkantak2005MP, ChhatisgarhChitals, Sambars, Black Buck3835
15Ran of Kutch2008GujaratWild Ass12454
16Cold Desert2009Himachal Pradesh, J &KSnow Leopard7770
17Seshachalan Hills2010Andhra  PradeshSlender Loris4755.997
18Panna2011Madhya PradeshTiger542

List of Biosphere Reserves in India under World Biosphere Reserves

The UNESCO has introduced the designation ‘Biosphere Reserve’ for natural areas to minimize conflict between development and conservation. BRs are nominated by national government which meet a minimal set of criteria and adhere to minimal set of conditions for inclusion in the world network of Biosphere reserves under the Man and Biosphere Reserve Programme of UNESCO. Globally, there are 686 biosphere reserves in 122 countries, including 20 transboundary sites.

Out of the eighteen(18) biosphere reserves, India has 12 internationally recognised Biosphere Reserves. They are as follows :

International Status of Biosphere Reserves (BR)

SI.No.Biosphere NameStates/ UTYear
1NilgiriTamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka2000
2Gulf of MannarTamil Nadu2001
3Sundarbans West Bengal2001
4Nanda DeviUttarakhand2004
6PachmarhiMadhya Pradesh2009
8Great NicobarAndaman & Nicobar Islands2013
9Achanakmar-AmarkantakChhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh2012
10AgasthyamalaiKerala and Tamil Nadu2016
12PannaMadhya Pradesh2020
The Full List of 18 Biosphere Reserves in India 2022 is an important General Knowledge topic for APSC Prelims & Mains exam. The question from this topic can be asked in the General Awareness section. Candidates preparing for any Government exam such as UPSC, State PCS, Railway, Banking, and SSC must learn the list given in this article.

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Frequently Asked Questions :

1. How many biosphere reserves are in India?

Ans : 18 Biosphere Reserves

2. Which is the 1st biosphere reserve in India?

Ans : The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve

3. Which is the smallest biosphere reserve in India?

Ans : Dibru-Saikhowa

4. Which country has the most biosphere reserves?

Ans : Spain (18) 

5. Who gave the concept of biosphere reserve?

Ans : UNESCO's Man and Biosphere programme

6. How many Biosphere Reserves in Assam? 

Ans : Two

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