Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

Master Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve [2021] MAP

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Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is located in the Himalayan Mountains in the northern part of India in Uttarakhand. Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO recognised Biosphere reserve under Man & Biosphere Programme. The snow-clad peaks, along with the presence of over 30 glaciers and rare and endangered species of animals and birds, deep and vast valleys, meadows and rivers, makes the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve unique.

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

  • Surface: 6407.03 Sq. Km.
  • Core area(s): 712.12 Sq. Km.
  • Buffer zone(s): 5148.57 Sq. Km.
  • Transition zone(s): 546.34 Sq. Km.
  • Designation date by UNESCO: 2004 
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve dispersed across three districts of Uttarakhand viz. Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar.
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve in the Himalayan Mountains is located in the northern part of the country.
  • There are two core zones in Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve, namely Nanda Devi National Park and Valley of Flower National Park. Both these National Parks are also designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve has remained more or less intact because of its inaccessibility.  
  • The snow-clad peaks in reserve with over 30 glaciers, charismatic animals and birds, and deep and vast valleys make the reserve unique. Meadows and rivers and the culture of the native communities make the Biosphere Reserve unique.
  • The Valley of Flowers National Park inside the Nanda Devi biosphere reserve is known for its meadows of endemic alpine flowers and outstanding natural beauty.  
  • The biosphere reserve is a unique transition zone between the mountain ranges of the Zanskar and the Great Himalayas.
  • These National Parks contain the catchment area of Alaknanda River and its tributaries, including Rishi Ganga, Dhauli Ganga, Pushwapati, and Khir Ganga. 
  • Lots of peaks line along the northern boundary of the core zone of the Nanda Devi National Park, which includes 
    • Nanda Devi East (7434 m), Trishul (7120 m), Dunagiri (7066 m), Kalanka (6934 m), Changbang (6864 m) and Nanda Ghungti (6368 m). 
    • Nanda Devi West Peak (7817 m) is within Nanda Devi National Park.
  • The area has an extensive altitudinal range (1,800 to 7,817 m) that is dominant with the peak of Nanda Devi. The unique topography, climate, soil, and biogeographical location of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve gives rise to diverse habitats. Unique communities and ecosystems and many ecologically and economically important species are part of this reserve.
  • The diverse topography of this area leads to distinctive micro-climates. The forest composition shows a change across the altitudinal gradient, starting from dry deciduous woods in the lower elevations to alpine meadows above the wood line.
  • The alpine vegetation of the reserve majorly comprises herbaceous species and scrub communities such as Rhododendron campanulatum, R. anthopogon, and Salix denticulata.
  • The percentage of native and endemic species is high in comparison to non-native species in reserve.

Fauna

Several endangered mammal species find refuge in the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve such as:

  • snow leopard  
  • Himalayan black bear 
  • brown bear 
  • musk deer
  • bharal/blue sheep

Detail about the two national parks within the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve:

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve

Nanda Devi National Park

  • Area: 624.60 Sq. Km.
  • It was established in 1982.
  • The Nanda Devi National Park is situated near Nanda Devi, India’s second-highest mountain (7816 meters) in Uttarakhand.
  • Together with the nearby Valley of Flowers National Park to the northwest, Nanda Devi National Park declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1988.
  • Nanda Devi National Park covers an area of 624 sq. Km. and along with Valley of Flowers National Park, it forms the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve.
  • Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves since 2004.
  • Within the Nanda Devi National Park lies the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, a glacial basin surrounded by peaks of height between 6,000 metres and 7,500 metres.
  • This Park is drained by the river Rishi Ganga through the Rishi Ganga gorge, one of the deepest in the world.

Fauna

  • Himalayan musk deer
  • Mainland serow
  • Himalayan tahr
  • Snow leopard
  • Himalayan black bear.

Flora

  • Meadows of alpine flowers
  • Fir
  • Birch
  • Rhododendron
  • Juniper

Valley of Flowers National Park

  • Area: 87 Sq. Km.
  • Located in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand
  • Valley of Flowers National Park is set in the backdrop of the mighty Himalayan Ranges.
  • Valley of Flowers National Park is a world heritage site. The valley is situated in a very remarkable area, the conjunction point of Western and Eastern Himalayas.            
  • The National Park lies entirely in the temperate alpine zone.

Fauna

The density of wild animals in the valley is not very high, but most of the animals found are rare or endangered; some example are:

  • Red giant flying squirrel
  • Himalayan black bear
  • red fox
  • Himalayan weasel
  • Himalayan yellow-throated marten
  • Himalayan goral,
  • musk deer
  • Himalayan tahr
  • Serow
  • Goral
  • Bharal blue sheep

Flora

  • Orchids
  • Poppies
  • Primulas
  • Marigold
  • Daisies
  • Anemones

If you want to Learn more about Nanda Devi biosphere reserve refer to the UNESCO website

Where is Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve located

Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve is dispersed across three districts of Uttarakhand viz. Chamoli, Pithoragarh, and Bageshwar.


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