Panchmarhi, Achnakmar-Amarkantak & Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve

Panchmarhi (1999)

Panchmarhi was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1999 largely due to its unique Sal forests. The reserve has now been included on the World Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO on 26th May, 2009. It is the first representative biosphere of Central India the altitudinal range of the reserve varies from 320 to 1352 m above the sea level. The Satpura Range run from east to west and the Panchmarhi Plateau is practically placed in the centre of area having an elevation of about 1050 m. Some of the conspicuous hilly areas are Jambudweepa, Dhoopgarh, Handikho, Mahadev, and Chauragarh. The Bee Fall waterfall adds to the attraction of this biosphere reserve. Dhoopgarh with an elevation of 1352 m is the highest peak of the region. The major water courses that drain the area are Tawa, Dudhi, and Denwa rivers and the Tawa Reservior is within the Biosphere Reserve area.

Panchmarhi Biosphere Reserve is often recognized as 'Genetic Express Highway' linking two biodiversity hotspots of the country, viz., Eastern Himalaya and Western Ghats. It is a natural junction of forest representative types prevailing in the State. It is a natural junction of two most important timber species i.e. Teak and Sal.

The entire forest area can be broadly classified into three major types i.e. (i) moist deciduous, (ii) dry deciduous, and (iii) sub-tropical hill forest. Moreover, some are a supports the xerophytic vegetation. The nest quality of teak is found in Panchmarhi area especially in Bori Sanctuary.

The main animals of the biosphere reserve include Blue Tiger, Indian grey hornbill, Malabar pied hornbill, Darter, Darter White-necked Stork, Black Ibis, Small blue Kingfisher, White breasted Kingfisher, Spotted Dove and numerous butteries. Excessive exploitation of natural resources is the main threat to Gene Pool Reserve Areas. The increased use of chemical fertilizers, water pollution, and the increased w of tourists are the main threats to the biosphere reserve.

Achnakmar-Amarkantak (2005)

The Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve was notified by the Government of India on 30th March 20 05 as the 14th biosphere reserve of India. The reserve spreads from Maikal Hill Range to the junction of Vidhyan and Satpura Hills in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh states of India.

The biosphere reserve is inhabited by the Baiga, Gond, Dhanwar, Kol, Kanwar, Oraon, Chamar, Sais (Sarthi), Bosre, Lonia, Kalar, Kumhar, Kewat, Ahir (Raut), Lohar, Sonar, Baniya, Muslim, Sindhi, Brahmin, Rajput, Goswami, Muslims, Brahmins, Rajput, Goswami and Sindhi.

The holy river Narmada, Son, and Johilla rivers originate from this biosphere reserve. Many permanent and seasonal waterfalls like Durgadhara, Shambhudhara, Kapildhara are in this biosphere reserve which improve the aesthetic value of the area. The reserve is very rich in biodiversity. This biosphere reserves is characterized by Tropical Moist Deciduous Forests, Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests. The main species include Sal forest, mixed forest, degraded forest and agro-forestry ecosystem. The endangered Chitala is also found in this biosphere reserve. reserve is a known habitat for animals like tiger, bison, bear, spotted deer, barking deer, wild cat, fox, wild dog, sambar, four horned antelope, mouse deer, etc.

Manas (1989)

Manas Biosphere Reserve is located along the Himalayan foothills to the north of Brahmaputra Valley and belongs to Tropical Humid Forest Biome. Manas with its spectacular landscape is one among most stunning pristine wildlife habitats in the world. The area has a unique distinction of being a Natural World Heritage site, Tiger Reserve, Elephant Reserve and an important Bird Area. The Biosphere Reserve is traversed by the Sankosh and Dhansiri rivers.' The Manas River is the largest Himalayan tributary of the mighty Brahmaputra. The entire region is known as Eastern Door. Manas Biosphere Reserve gets its name after the serpent goddess 'Manasa' (Durga)

The core zone harbours high diversity of tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical moist and dry deciduous forests and alluvial grasslands communities, rare, endangered, native and endemic species of both flora and fauna. Some of the threatened species are golden langur, capped-langur, clouded leopard, panthera - tigris, golden cat, shing cat, leopard cat, sloth bear, wild dog, Ganges dolphin, pygmy hog, swamp deer, sambar, hog-deer, water-bulo, gaur, giant-squirrel, hispid-hare, and Indian pangolin. Olden langur and pigmy hog are endemic to this reserve. The hispid hare is yet another unique animal of the reserve.

The core zone of Manas Biosphere Reserve harbours high diversity of tropical semi-evergreen forests, tropical moist and dry deciduous forests and alluvial grasslands communities, rare, endangered, native and endemic species of both flora and fauna. The southern part of the Manas Biosphere Reserve is thickly covered with human settlements dominated by Bodo tribes, Bengalis and other ethnic communities who heavily depend on reserve resources for sustenance and income generation as well. is has caused considerable degradation of natural forests and ecosystems.

Dibru-Saikhowa (1997)

Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve is situated along the south bank of the Brahmaputra River in the extreme east of Assam. The reserve with numerous islands pockets and water bodies, provides unique habitats for varied wildlife and aquatic fauna, including water dependent avifauna. As a part of the 'biodiversity hotspot' this reserve provides a suitable habitat for a large number of globally threatened faunal and floral elements, which include endangered white winged wood-duck and wild feral horses the forest type in the biosphere reserve range from semi-evergreen, deciduous, littoral and swamp forests to patches of wet evergreen forests. Occurrence of several primitive species of vascular plants in the reserve significant area as remnant of the luxurious tropical wet evergreen forests of the past.

The Dibru-Saikhowa Biosphere Reserve provides unique habitat for some of the globally threatened species like clouded leopard, Asiatic Water Bulo, Hoolcock Gibbon, Slow Loris, Asian Elephant, Gangetic Dolphin and White winged Wood-Duck. It is also famous for the free ranging ferral horses, which are a direct offshoot of the domestic horse. Being diverse and unique in many ways than one, the reserve is amongst the most important tourist destinations in the state. This biosphere reserve is generally kept open for tourists from the month of November to April or as notified by the National Park Authorities. No entry after sunset and before sunrise is permitted in the Park. Night halt and picnicking inside the park is strictly prohibited. Lodging facilities are available outside the Park at Guijan Forest Boundary for which advance booking is necessary. However, private hotels are also available at Tinsukia Town at very reasonable rate.

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