Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve of India Now Part of World Network of Biosphere Reserves of UNESCO


Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR) of India was included in the World Network of Biosphere Reserves of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) along with other 19 sited at the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (ICCMAB) programme of UNESCO that concluded recently in Lima, Peru.

Along with the ABR, total 10 out of 18 biosphere reserves in the country have included in list of World Network of Biosphere Reserves.

The other 9 Biosphere Reserves are:

  • Nilgiri (Western Ghats) in 2000
  • Gulf of Mannar (Tamil Nadu) in 2001
  • Sunderban (West Bengal) in 2001
  • Nanda Devi (Uttarakhand) in 2004
  • Nokrek (Meghalaya) in 2009
  • Pachmarh (Madhya Pradesh) in 2009
  • Similipal (Odisha) in 2009
  • Achanakmar-Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh) in 2012
  • Great Nicobar in 2013

The BRs are selected after assessing the proposals suggested by the State through National MAB Committees.

About Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve (ABR)

  • ABR in located at the southern-most end of the Western Ghats and spread over two southern states Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
  • It was founded in 2001.
  • And it is named after Agastya Mala peak which rises up to almost 1868 meters above sea level, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala.
  • At an altitude ranging from 100 meters it covers an area of 3, 500 sq. km to 1, 868 meters above the Mean Sea Level.


  • It mostly comprises of steamy forests and is home to 2, 254 species of higher plants around 400 that are endemic.
  • Approximately 400 Red Listed Plants have been verified from ABR.
  • Around 125 species of orchids and rare, endemic and threatened plants have been noted from the reserve.


  • It is home to rare animals such as the tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr.


  • It is home to the Kanikaran tribe, one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.

About Biosphere Reserves (BR)

  • They are places for learning about maintainability and development to fix the conservation of biodiversity with the supportable use of natural resources.
  • BRs protect larger areas of natural home and often include one or more National Parks in India.
  • Protection is granted to the flora and fauna of the protected region as well as the human communities who populate these regions and their ways of life in B Rs.

- Published/Last Modified on: March 23, 2016