Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve
അഗസ്ത്യമല ജെെവ സംരക്ഷണ മേഖല
Map showing the location of Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve  അഗസ്ത്യമല ജെെവ സംരക്ഷണ മേഖല
Agasthyamalai BR
Location Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram, Pathanamthitta, Kanyakumari and Tirunelveli Districts
Nearest city Trivandrum
Coordinates 8°39′0″N 77°13′0″E / 8.65000°N 77.21667°E / 8.65000; 77.21667Coordinates: 8°39′0″N 77°13′0″E / 8.65000°N 77.21667°E / 8.65000; 77.21667
Area 3,500.36 km2 (1,351.50 sq mi)
Established 2001
Governing body

Ministry of Environment & Forests
Tamil Nadu Forest Department
Kerala Forest and Wildlife Dept.

Listed under UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves

The Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve (ABR) (Malayalam: അഗസ്ത്യമല ജെെവ സംരക്ഷണ മേഖല) was Established in 2001 and includes 3,500.36 km2 (1,351.50 sq mi) of which 1828 km² is in Kerala and 1672.36 km² is in Tamil Nadu.[1][2]

Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve became part of World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2016.[3]


ABR straddles the border of Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram Districts in Kerala and Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu, South India at the southern end of the Western Ghats. The Biosphere lies Between 8° 8' to 9° 10' North Latitude and 76° 52' to 77° 34' East Longitude. Central location is 8°39′N 77°13′E / 8.650°N 77.217°E / 8.650; 77.217 .

It is composed of Neyyar,[4] Peppara[5] and Shendurney[6] Wildlife Sanctuaries and their adjoining areas of Achencoil,[7] Thenmala, Konni,[8] Punalur, Thiruvananthapuram Divisions and Agasthyavanam Special Division in Kerala.[9] Inclusion of adjoining areas of Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu has been approved. The reserve now covers parts of Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari Districts in Tamil Nadu and Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam and Pathanamthitta Districts in Kerala.[2]

1868 m high Agastya Mala mountain


ABR includes the Indian Ecoregions of South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests, South Western Ghats montane rain forests and Shola. It is the habitat for 2,000 varieties of medicinal plants, of which at least 50 are rare and endangered species. Rare animals include the tiger, Asian Elephant, and Nilgiri Tahr. Agastyamalai is also home to the Kanikaran,[10][11] one of the oldest surviving ancient tribes in the world.[12] Ecotourism is popular in the area.

Thenmala Adventure Zone

Kanikkarans are the Original tribal Settlers in Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve.[13]


A local committee and a state level Biosphere Management Committee co-ordinate the activities of various departments in the ABR area and ensure the scientific management of the ABR according to guidelines of the Indian Ministry of Environment and Forests.[14][15]


  1. Kerala Forests & Wildlife Dept, Biosphere Reserves.Agasthyamala Biosphere Reserve
  2. 1 2 Tamil Nadu Forest Department (2007) retrieved September 2, 2007 AGASTHIYARMALAI BIOSPHERE RESERVE
  3. UNESCO, World Network of Biosphere Reserves, Agasthyamalai. retrieved March 19, 2016 World Network Of Biosphere Reserves
  4. Neyyar Wildlife Sanctuary
  5. Peppara Wildlife Sanctuary
  6. Shendurney Wildlife Sanctuary
  7. Achencoil, Kerala
  8. Konni, Kerala
  10. Anuradha, R. V., "Sharing with the Kanis, A case study from Kerala, India" "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-11-23. Retrieved 2007-02-15.
  11. Ministry of Forests and Environment-Report Ch10 Biodiversity/Kanis
  12. The Hindu, "Environment Ministry to soon declare Agastyamalai a biosphere reserve", Jan 3, 2006.
  13. UNESCO World Heritage Site
  14. Kerala Forests & Wildlife Department
  15. Wildlife Institute of India

External links

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