Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

achanakmar amarkantak biosphere reserve

The Achanakmar Amarkantak Nature Reserve is a habitat for several natural and cultural attractions. 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 known as the Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve in central India.

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.

The topic is explained in detail, and every minute detail needed for the UPSC Exam is covered on this page.

Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve: A Geographic 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. This biosphere reserve encompasses the Deccan Plateau and 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. Other than that, 16.20% of the reserve is in Anuppur, while 15.70% is in Madhya Pradesh’s Dindori district.
  4. Bauxite and basaltic lava are the primary geological components of the Amarkantak plateau. 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 consists of towering mountains, narrow valleys, and plains.
  11. The Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve also includes the Maikal hill ranges, Vindhya, and Satpura.
  12. Within the Achanakmar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve sits one of India’s most important watersheds.

Flora and fauna Of The Achanakar-Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve

Synopsis Of Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve’s Flora

  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 is rare or endangered.
  3. 63% of this land is covered with tropical deciduous forest, 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 including 3 at the endemic state, 282 regionally rare, and 39 of them are globally threatened.

Overview of Faunal Species Of Achanakmar 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. Other animals found in the area include Spotted Deer, Giant Squirrels, Blackbuck, Monkeys, wild animals, and wildcats. It also has a diverse range of animal species.

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 which have been a result of strict conservation efforts.

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Socio-Economic Characteristics Of The Reserve

This region has a population of 4,36,128 people (2001 census). 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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Conclusion

India’s largest natural reserve is the Achanakmar Amarkantak Biosphere Reserve. 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.

FAQ On Achanakmar Amarkantak Reserve

Q1. Which is India’s largest biosphere reserve?

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

Q2. Which is India’s smallest biosphere reserve?

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

Q3. How many biosphere reserves does India have?

India has 18 biosphere reserves.

Q4. What is the first Nature reserve in India?

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

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