Biosphere Reserves in Kerala

Biosphere Reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal/marine ecosystems where, through appropriate zoning patterns and management mechanisms, the conservation of ecosystems and their biodiversity is ensured.

There are two Biosphere Reserve in Kerala sharing its portions with adjoining States and are named as Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.


Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve (5,520 km2) 


  • Established in 1986
  • Nilgiri is the first biosphere reserve in India.
  • It was constituted as Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in September 1986 under Man and Biosphere Programme.
  • Includes parts of Wayanad, Nagarhole, Bandipur and Mudumalai, Nilambur, Silent Valley and Siruvani Hills in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka.
  • Declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2012.
  • It has largest population of two endangered species lion-tailed macaque and nilgiri tahr
  • Doddabetta is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 2,637 metres.


Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (3,500 km2) 


  • Established in 2001
  • Covers parts of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta Districts in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu.
  • Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve became part of World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2016.
  • Kanikkarans are the Original tribal Settlers in Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.
  • Kanikaran, one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.
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