- “Biodiversity Heritage Sites” (BHS) are well defined areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal and inland waters and, marine having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the following components:
- the richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories
- high endemism
- presence of rare and threatened species
- keystone species
- species of evolutionary significance
- wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties
- past preeminence of biological components represented by fossil beds
- having significant cultural, ethical, or aesthetic values; important for the maintenance of cultural diversity (with or without a long history of human association with them)
- Areas having any of the following characteristics may qualify for inclusion as BHS.
- Such sites are mentioned in Section 37 of the Biodiversity Act 2002.
- The state government has the power to declare such a site within its jurisdiction. They need to consult the local bodies before doing so.
- They can also call for suggestions, or consider the sites that have already been suggested by the Biodiversity Management Committees and other such authorities.
- The rules for the management and conservation of such sites are made by the state governments themselves, in consultation with the Union Government.
- The state government can also frame the schemes to compensate or rehabilitate the people who get economically affected, and/or displaced due to any such declaration of a bio-heritage site.
- Near 2007, the Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka, was designated as India’s first Biodiversity Heritage Site.
- India has 36 such sites. The last one was the Mahendragiri Hill Biodiversity Heritage Site in Odisha.
Biodiversity Heritage Sites in India
|Name of the BHS Site||State|
|Nallur Tamarind Grove||Karnataka|
|University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bengaluru||Karnataka|
|Glory of Allapalli||Maharashtra|
|Tonglu BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division||West Bengal|
|Dhotrey BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division||West Bengal|
|Ghariyal Rehabilitation Centre, Lucknow||Uttar Pradesh|
|Chilkigarh Kanak Durga||West Bengal|
|Khlaw Kur Syiem KmieIng||Meghalaya|
|Naro Hills||Madhya Pradesh|
|Bambarde Myristica Swamps||Maharashtra|
|Baneswar Shiva Dighi||West Bengal|
|Sacred Grove at Sural Bhatori Monastery||Himachal Pradesh|
|High Altitude Meadow @ HUDAN BHATORI||Himachal Pradesh|
|Birch-pine Forest Patch @ Nain Gahar||Himachal Pradesh|
|Debbari or Chabimura||Tripura|
|Betlingshib & its surroundings||Tripura|
|Hajong Tortoise Lake||Assam|
|Borjuli Wild Rice Site||Assam|
|Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site||Tamil Nadu|
|Mahendragiri Hill Biodiversity Heritage Site||Odisha|
Nallur Tamarind Grove, Karnataka
- It is popularly believed to be a relic of the Chola Dynasty that ruled nearly 800 years ago, is spectacle of awesome wonder and a freakish site.
- This BHS spread over 54 acres comprising a population of nearly 300 trees, is a picture of dynamic pattern of plant diversity.
- The significant component of this popular structure is a group of old plants standing like ageless sentinels, firmly rooted to the ground with their gigantic trunks, along with large picturesque crowns spread very high and aloft like open wings.
- The area has unique Shola vegetation and grassland with several floral species which are unique and have a lot of medicinal value.
- Hogrekan also serves as a “Wildlife Corridor” between Kudremukha and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It is a revenue land located between Sharavathi Wild Life Sanctuary and Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It has Shola vegetation which is primitive vegetation in the Western Ghat and also has grasslands.
Glory of Allapalli
- It is a reserved forest being preserved as natural forest having biological, ethinical and historical values.
- First water body to be recognized as a Biodiversity Heritage Site, Ameenpur Lake is a man-made lake dating more than 300 years old.
- The lake is home to many residents and migratory birds, such as flamingos, egrets, herons, cormorants, kingfishers, and river terns, to name a few.
- And because of a high number of migratory species, Ameenpur Lake earned the status of a BHS. The site is every birdwatcher’s delight.
Majuli Island in Assam
- It is an island situated in the Brahmaputra River which is harboring a unique Ecological and Cultural Heritage.
Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site
- This BHS has rich biological and historical significance with the presence of around 250 bird species including 3 flagship Raptor species – Laggar Falcon, Shaheen Falcon, Bonelli’s Eagle and wildlife like Indan Pangolin, Python and Slender Loris.
Mahendragiri Hill Biodiversity Heritage Site
- Mahendragiri hill is situated at an elevation between 700-1501 m above mean sea level in Gajapati district of Odisha.
- With increase altitude, the hill complex demonstrates several micro climatic conditions like tropical shola, tropical semievergreen, tropical moist-deciduous & tropical dry deciduous.
- The diversified vegetation with rich floral diversity representing 40% of the reported flora of Odisha.
- The ancient temples of Kunti, Shima, Arjuna and Yudhisthir at Mahendragiri have been declared as protected monuments under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological sites and Remains Act 1958 by the State Government.
- These monuments provide a sacred and holy background for receiving about one lakh devotees annually every year to worship the deities of the hill
Yaya Tso Lake
- The proposal to include the Yaya Tso in the biodiversity heritage sites list has been sent to the Ladakh Biodiversity Council by the Biodiversity Management Committee, the Chumathang Village Panchayat and the SECURE Himalaya Project. If approved, this will be the first such site in Ladakh.
- It is a lake located at an altitude of 4820m above sea level. It is a very important nesting and breeding site for a variety of birds such as the bar-headed goose, black-necked crane and the brahminy duck. This is why the lake is known as a “Birds’ Paradise”. Globally, it is one of the most important breeding sites for the vulnerable “black-necked crane”.