Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Most of the natural and cultural elements are included in the Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve. It is named after Achanakmar, a forest community in Chhattisgarh, and Amarkantak, a religious location in Madhya Pradesh known as “Teerthra.”

Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are both included in the interstate reserve. It is home to a variety of wildlife, including endangered species such as leopards, Royal Bengal tigers, and sambar deer, and spans 383,551 hectares. This interstate biosphere reserve is home to various endemic wildlife species and is one of the world’s most biodiverse regions.

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Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve – Geographical Outline

It is the most ecologically diverse and disturbing landscape in India. Here are some points to note about this reserve’s geographical layout:

  1. The Achanakmar Amarkantak biosphere reserve encompasses the Deccan Plateau spreading all the way to the central highlands.
  2. The Indian peninsula’s Achanakmar Amarkantak Reserve contains rocky mountain terrain and meadows.
  3. The Bilaspur district of Chhattisgarh is home to 68.1% of this protected ecosystem while another 16.20% of the reserve is in Anuppur. The rest 15.70% is in Madhya Pradesh’s Dindori district.
  4. The Amarkantak plateau is characterized by its topography. It is primarily composed of bauxite and rocks formed by basaltic lava. However, granite, sandstone, shale, limestone, schist, and gneiss are also widespread in the area.
  5. With May and June being the hottest and December and January being the coolest months of the year, the biosphere reserve features a tropical monsoon climate.
  6. This region is traversed by rivers that spring from both perennial and non-perennial sources and run into the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea.
  7. The three rivers that flow from this biosphere reserve are India’s Johilla, Narmada, and Son. Hence it is the source of 3 major river systems.
  8. Here you can also find red soil, which is permeable and productive due to the presence of iron oxide.
  9. This reserve also features alluvial soil along the banks of various streams, as well as black cotton soil in some parts, which supports a wide variety of species.
  10. The landscape features a wide variety of topographies, from steep mountains to flat plains and valleys.
  11. In addition, the hill ranges of Maikal, Vindhya, and Satpura can be found within the boundaries of the Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve.
  12. Within the Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve sits one of India’s most important watersheds.

Overview of the Flora and Fauna

Floral Diversity of the Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

  1. From a species count of 151 plant subfamilies, more than a thousand species live in this reserve, most of which are floristically diverse, including pteridophytes, bryophytes, gymnosperms, and angiosperm species.
  2. Twenty-five of the 105 medicinal plant species living here are rare or endangered.
  3. 63% of this land is covered with tropical deciduous forests, with the southernmost regions being dominated by dry tropical deciduous vegetation.
  4. The reserve boasts diverse flora and vegetation due to a mixture of climatic and edaphic conditions at various altitudes.
  5. The reserve comprises some rare and endangered floral species. This includes 3 at the endemic state, 282 regionally rare, and 39 of them are globally threatened.

Faunal Species of the Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

The vertebrate fauna and invertebrate fauna of this Nature Reserve include 327 species from 256 genera, as well as some taxonomically unidentified species (or undescribed species).

It is also a shelter for 67 endangered species, including four-horned antelope, Saras cranes, Sacred Grove Bush Frogs, Asian White-backed Vultures, and Indian wild dogs (Cuon alpinus).

With 170 bird species from 51 groups, more than thirteen reptile species, and several amphibian species, this rich biodiversity is as large as it is colorful. There are many different animal species living in this designated biome, including the following:

  1. 26 Tigers
  2. 376 Barking Deer
  3. 28 Bears
  4. 552 Bison
  5. 1936 Chital
  6. 46 Panthers
  7. 1369 Sambhars

All of the numbers above are from the census 2004. The diverse range of animal species also includes spotted Deer, Giant Squirrels, Blackbuck, Monkeys, wild animals, and wildcats.

The animal diversity and size of the populations within the Achanakmar Sanctuary are greater than in any other designated natural conservation area. The most influential reason for this is better protection and preservation conditions. This is achieved by strict conservation efforts.

Socio-Economic Characteristics of the Reserve

The population of this area was 4,36,128 as per the data of the census that was conducted in 2001. Twenty-seven tribal and non-tribal communities that make up the Ecological Reserve’s 418 settlements heavily rely significantly on agriculture, as well as handicrafts, non-timber products, and other commodities produced inside the reserve and buffer zone, for a living.

The local people rely on these plants for their livelihoods, which translates into jobs for local residents. Besides, the Achanakmar Amarkantak area also supports various eco-tourism ventures. This reserve is a dwelling place for several major tribes, including the Baiga, Gond, Kanwar, Kol, Panka, and Pradhan.

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The Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve spans the states of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh and has a total land area of 383,551 hectares. It is a breathtaking and environmentally diversified landscape, one of the best in the entire globe.

It is the most ecologically diverse and dramatic landscape in India. The reserve is the least developed of the two states and contains some of the country’s most unique natural and cultural elements.

The reserve’s natural resources are under threat from expanding human activities that include excessive exploitation. These activities, together with the spread of noxious plants and the usage of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, are among the most significant threats to this area.

Many initiatives, such as the rehabilitation of degraded bamboo forests, the formation of grass meadows, the construction of new check dams, and so on, are being attempted to conserve this diversified zone.

FAQs related to Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Which is India’s largest biosphere reserve?

Gujarat is home to the Gulf of Kachchh, one of India’s major Biosphere reserves.

Which is India’s smallest biosphere reserve?

Dibru-Saikhowa in Assam is India’s smallest Biosphere Reserve.

How many biosphere reserves does India have?

India is home to 18 biosphere reserves.

What is the first Nature Reserve in India?

The Nilgiri Nature Reserve, India’s first biosphere reserve, was created in 1986.

What is Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve?

Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve is a protected area in the states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, India. It was established in 2005 and covers an area of approximately 3835 square kilometers.

What is the purpose of the biosphere reserve?

The biosphere reserve is intended to protect the natural ecosystem of the region, which is home to a variety of flora and fauna and to promote sustainable development in the area.

What is the best time to visit Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve?

The best time to visit the biosphere reserve is between November and June when the weather is pleasant, and wildlife sightings are more common. However, the best time for bird watching is between January and March.

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