5.NILGIRI BIOSPHERE RESERVE
- The name ’Nilgiris’ with literary meaning ‘blue mountains’has originated from the blue flower clad mountains of the Nilgiris plateau within the State of Tamil Nadu.
- It was the first biosphere reserve in Indiaestablished in the year 1986.
- The total area of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve is 5,520 sq. km.
- It is located in the Western Ghatsand encompasses parts of Tamil Nadu,Kerala and Karnataka.
- It exemplifies the tropical forest biomewhich portrays the confluence of Afro-tropical and Indo-Malayan biotic zonesof the world.
- Biogeographically, Western Ghats is the most important region and one of the noted Biodiversity Hotspots(biogeographic regions having highest density of endemic species)for speciation in the tropics.
- The NBR harbors a wide spectrum of ecosystem types. Major parts of the core areas spread over Kerala and Tamil Nadu States, include evergreen, semievergreen, moist deciduous montane sholas and grassland types ofvegetation.
- Whereas the core area spread over the State of Karnataka contains mostly dry deciduous forests and a few patches of moist deciduous, semi evergreen and scrub jungles.
- Animals like Nilgiritahr, Nilgiri langur, slender loris, blackbuck, tiger, gaur, Indian elephant and martenare found here.
- Freshwater fishes such as Nilgiri danio(Devarioneilgherriensis), Nilgiri barb(Hypselobarbusdubuis) andBowany barb(Puntius bovanicus) are endemic tothis Biosphere Reserve.
- Many of the major tributaries of the river Cauverylike the Bhavani, Moyar, Kabini and other rivers like Chaliyar, Punampuzha,, have theirsource and catchment areas within the reserve boundary.
- Tribal groups like the Todas, Kotas, Irullas, Kurumbas, Paniyas, Adiyans, EdanadanChettis, Cholanaickens, Allar, Malayan,, are native to thereserve.
- The Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, Mukurthi National Park and Silent Valleyare the protected areas present within this reserve.