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Kanchenjunga Biosphere

  • IASbaba
  • July 12, 2021
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Kanchenjunga Biosphere

Part of: GS Prelims and GS -III – Biodiversity

In news: In a recent publication by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI), it was reported that  Sikkim, the smallest State with less than 1% of India’s landmass, is home to 27% of all flowering plants found in the country.

  • Sikkim is a part of the Kanchenjunga biosphere landscape

About Kanchenjunga Biosphere

  • Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve which is located in Sikkim is one of the highest ecosystems in the world, reaching elevations of 1, 220 metres above sea-level.
  • The biosphere has different altitudinal ecosystems, varying from sub-tropic to Arctic, as well as natural forests in different biomes, that support an immensely rich diversity of forest types and habitats. 
  • World’s third highest peak, Mt. Khangchendzonga, is situated within the Park. 
  • Numerous lakes and glaciers, including the 26 km long Zemu Glacier are a part of the Biosphere reserve.
  • Khangchendzonga National Park (KNP) was designated a World Heritage Site in 2016 under the ‘mixed’ category (Mixed heritage sites contain elements of both natural and cultural significance).
  • The Khangchendzonga Biosphere Reserve in Sikkim, surrounding the world’s third highest peak Mount Khangchendzonga, has been added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves, making it the 11th biosphere in India to be included in the network.
  • Its location – bordering Nepal, Tibet (China) and in close proximity of Bhutan – offers unique opportunities for joint collaboration and conservation of biodiversity with neighbouring countries.
  • Increasing unregulated tourism, lack of awareness about the landscape and shortage of staff are some of the key challenges in maintaining the reserve’s sanctity.

Other Biosphere reserves of India

Year Name State Key fauna
1 1986 Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka Nilgiri tahrtigerlion-tailed macaque
2 1988 Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve Uttarakhand Snow leopard, Himalayan black bear
3 1989 Gulf of Mannar Tamil Nadu Dugong
4 1988 Nokrek Meghalaya Red panda
5 1989 Sundarbans West Bengal Royal Bengal tiger
6 1989 Manas Assam Asiatic elephant, tiger, Assam roofed turtle, hispid hare, golden langur, pygmy hog
7 1994 Simlipal Odisha Gaur, royal Bengal tiger, Asian elephant
8 1998 Dihang-Dibang Arunachal Pradesh Mishmi takin, musk deer
9 1999 Pachmarhi Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh Giant squirrelflying squirrel
10 2005 Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh Four-horned antelope, Indian wild dog, sarus crane, white-rumped vulture, sacred grove bush frog
11 2008 Great Rann of Kutch Gujarat Indian wild ass
12 2009 Cold Desert Himachal Pradesh Snow leopard
13 2000 Khangchendzonga National Park Sikkim Snow leopard, red panda
14 2001 Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve Kerala, Tamil Nadu Nilgiri tahr, Asian elephant
15 1989 Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve Andaman and Nicobar Islands Saltwater crocodile
16 1997 Dibru-Saikhowa Assam White-winged wood duck, water buffalo, black-breasted parrotbill, tiger, capped langur
17 2010 Seshachalam Hills Andhra Pradesh Slender loris
18 2011 Panna Madhya Pradesh

News source: TH

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