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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: Lalitha Vijayan, SACON
  General Description   This biosphere reserve represents a unique and threatened ecosystem in the tropics within the Western Ghats Mountain system. It is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and provides habitat for the probably largest South Indian populations of tiger (Panthera tigris), elephant (Elephas maximus) and other large mammals.
Several ethnic groups inhabit the area, including the only surviving hunter-gatherers of the Indian subcontinent, the Cholanaikans who concentrate in the Nilambur area. The 1,160,200 permanent inhabitants of the biosphere reserve (2000) subsist on the use of natural resources (such as medicinal plants), agriculture, agri-horticulture and the commercialization of these products. Eco-development programmes are envisaged to provide schemes for generating additional income and security for people, such as forest and grassland management, habitat improvement, animal husbandry, apiculture and aquaculture, development of crafts, education and health, etc. About 200,000 people visit this region annually (2000), thus tourism has also become an important source of income.
  Major ecosystem type   Tropical forest; Mixed mountain and highland systems
  Major habitats & land cover types   Tropical humid evergreen forests characterized by Dipterocarpus indicus, Mesua ferrea, Palaquium ellipticum etc.; tropical montane shola grasslands with Cinnamomum wightii, Elaeocarpus serratus, Syzygium aromaticum etc.; tropical semi evergreen forests including Vitex altissima, Gmelina arborea, Persea macrantha etc.; tropical moist deciduous forests with Terminalia tomentosa, Dalbergia latifolia, Schleichera oleosa etc.; tropical dry deciduous forests characterized by Albizia chinensis, A. lebbeck, Anogeissus latifolia etc.; scrub jungle with Zizyphus oenoplia, Canthium parviflorum and Careya arborea; grazing areas; afforestation areas; agroecosystems; urban areas
  Location   11°36' to 12°00'N; 76°00' to 77°15'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   552,000
  Core area(s)   124,000
  Buffer zone(s)   357,400
  Transition area(s) when given   70,600
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +300 to +2,670
  Year designated   2000
  Administrative authorities   Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, ( Wildlife ), & Chief Wildlife Warden, Government of Karnataka, Bangalore
  Brief description   Monitoring of climatological, hydrological and geomorphological
characteristics of the region
Flora and fauna
Studies on ecology and population dynamics of endangered
Studies on epiphytic flora in the tropical forest ecosystems
Survey of stream fishes, their habitat, distribution and
behavioural ecology
Status, habitat, utilization and movement pattern of larger mammals
Mapping and monitoring of vegetation and land use
Research on tribal communities, their socio-cultural and
economic status
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate, geomorphology, habitat, hydrology, monitoring/methodologies.
  Biodiversity   Ecology, fauna, fishes, flora, mammals, population genetics/population dynamics, rare/endangered/threatened species, vegetation studies/plant cover.
  Socio-economic   Economic studies, social/socio-economic aspects.
  Integrated monitoring   Land use/Land cover, mapping, monitoring/methodologies.
  Contact address    
Ministry of Environment and Forests
Paryvaran Bhavan - C.G.O. Complex - Lodhi Road
110 003 New Delhi
  Telephone   (91.11) 436 4593
  Fax   (91.11) 436 2551
  Contact address   S.K. Chakrabarti
"Aranya Bhavan" 2nd Floor, 18th Cross, Malleswaram
560 003 Bangalore
  Telephone   (91.080) 3345846 (office)
  Fax   (91.080) 3346389

Last updated: 05/02/2002

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