If you have been wondering about the smallest biosphere reserve in India then this post is a must-read for you.
In this post, we will show you data and information about it in an easily consumable manner.
So first, let’s answer the question for which you are here.
Which Is The Smallest Biosphere Reserve In India?
The Panna Biosphere Reserve covering a total area of about 542 km2 only is the smallest biosphere reserve in India. This reserve was established in the year 2011 and is a part of Panna and Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh.
Do you know? The Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve covering a total area of about 5,520 km2 is the first biosphere reserve in India.
So, what actually is a Biosphere & a Biosphere Reserve?
Biosphere is simply the zone of contact between the water (hydrosphere), air (atmosphere), and land (lithosphere). It is the layer of the planet Earth where life exists.
And, a Biosphere Reserve is a multipurpose protected area of the biosphere encouraging the growth while conserving the various plants and animals.
Do you know? The Panna Biosphere Reserve is actually a national park located in Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh in India.
It was on 25 August 2011, when the Panna National Park was also declared as a Biosphere Reserve.
So, there’s no such difference between the Panna National Park and the Panna Biosphere Reserve. It’s actually the same thing but known differently.
Famous for its diamond industry as well as its wildlife, Panna National Park is home to five species of wild cats, including the King of the Jungle, the Bengal tiger.
Let’s Know A Bit About The Smallest Biosphere Reserve In India
The Panna Biosphere Reserve also known as the Panna National Park is the the 22nd tiger reserve of India and 5th one in Madhya Pradesh.
It was declared in 1993 as the twenty-second Tiger reserve of India and the fifth in Madhya Pradesh.
Another noteworthy fact is that it was given the Award of Excellence in 2007 as the best maintained national park of India by the Ministry of Tourism of India.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started…
Here are the interesting things about the Panna Biosphere Reserve, which is the smallest biosphere reserve in India.
#1. It’s geography
The Panna National Park was established in the year 1981. It covers an area of about 542.67 Km2 in total.
It is located in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India, and includes the parts of Panna and Chhatarpur districts of Madhya Pradesh, India.
The Panna National Park is surrounded by dry deciduous forest and is actually a blend of plateaus and gorges and grasslands greenery at some regions
The National Park is also famous for its amazing waterfalls which is formed by the Ken river.
It lies beside the banks of the Ken River. It is actually in the Catchment Area of the Ken River.
The Ken River and its small tributaries are the main sources of water here. Ken River flows through this reserve and creates beautiful waterfalls on its way to the valley.
The nearest cities are Panna in Panna district (45 km away) and Khajuraho in Chhatarpur district (35 km away).
Do you know? Panna National Park and its surrounding territorial forest areas of North and South Panna Reserve division is the only large chunk of wildlife habitat remaining in North Madhya Pradesh.
The National Park is situated at a point where the continuity of the tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest belt lies.
This belt actually starts from Cape Comorin in South India and reaches till here.
#2. It’s the habitat of a wide bio-diversity
This region is warm and with scorching heat during the summer time of the year. While the winters are cool and comfortable.
During the monsoon time, you will witness a heavy rainfall that again brings life to the forests.
Heavy rainfall makes the area again rich with greenery to make the ambiance more appealing and soothing.
With all these seasonal changes, in the tropical region of Panna the climate of the reserve area has made it possible for a wide variety of bio-diversity to flourish well.
It’s the major habitat of:
(i) BIRDS: Long Billed Vulture, White Backed Vulture, Himalayan Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, Eurasian Vulture, Paradise Flycatcher, Pond Heron, White-necked Stork, Honey Buzzard, Slaty-headed Parakeet, Peafowls, Spotted Doves, Bare-headed Goose, Lark, Pipit, Minivets, Partridges, Peregrine Falcon, Lesser Adjutant, Black drongo, Pied Myna, Bulbul, Indian Baya weaver, Crow Pheasants, Cuckoo, Kingfishers, Indian Roller, etc.
(ii) PLANTS: Tectona grandis, Diospyros melanoxylon, Madhuca indica, Buchnania latifolia, Anogeissus latifolia, Anogeissus pendula, Lannea coromandelica, Bosswelia serrata, Lantana camera, Grewia sp., Nyctanthus arbortristis, Ixora sp., Zyziphus mauritiana, Zyziphus oenoplea, etc.
(iii) ANIMALS: Tiger, Leopard, Chinkara, Nilgai, Hyena, Jackal, Rhesus monkey, Indian deer, Chital, Chausingha, Sambar, Nilgai, Chinkara, Wild dog, Wolf, Hyena, Cats, etc.
#3. The Panna Tiger Reserve
Panna was declared as the 22nd Tiger Reserve in India and the 5th in Madhya Pradesh in 1993.
This tiger reserve of India was soon declared and recognized under the project tiger as a Project Tiger Reserve in the year 1994.
In 2007, it was declared as the best managed and maintained national parks and tiger reserve of India by the Ministry of Tourism.
As history says, earlier the kings of Panna, Chhatarpur, and Bijawar princely states used to hunt tigers here in this region.
During those times, it was a major tiger hub with more than 50,000+ tigers roaming in the jungles as the locals say.
It was thus during the early days of 2008 when it was systematically discovered that the Tiger population had decreased a lot.
Thus, a reintroduction project was started in 2009 with 7 tigers in a total of five females and two males, all brought from Kanha and Bandhavgarh National Parks.
With proper monitoring and protection, where they achieved successful breeding to bring four litters to them.
Since then, the officials are focusing on the reproduction of more and more cubs in the area to maintain the previous counts of the tigers in Panna.
As of 2019, it was seen that there had been a remarkable increase in the tiger population. It has gradually increased to over 52 from Zero just within a decade.
#4. Facts about Panna Biosphere Reserve
1. Panna Biosphere Reserve is the 3rd Biosphere Reserve in the state of Madhya Pradesh, India.
2. Out of the total 542 sq. km, 64.16% area falls in Panna district and the remaining 35.84% area falls in Chhatarpur district.
3. The climate of this reserve is basically semi-arid to dry sub-humid type. It is hot and dry for about seven months. The average annual rainfall is almost 1100 mm.
4. The Panna Biosphere Reserve includes the parts of 3 Protected Areas i.e. the Panna National Park, Gangau Wildlife Sanctuary, and the Ken-Gharial Wildlife Sanctuary.
5. If we combine these 3 protected areas then the three Zones of this Biosphere Reserve are Core Zone (792.53 sq. km), Buffer Zone (989.20 sq. km), and Transition Zone (1,219.25 sq. km).
6. The geographical area of the Panna Biosphere Reserve is distributed in 2 districts of Panna and Chhatarpur with 3 blocks in each district.
7. 6 types of forests can be seen here. These are the Southern dry deciduous teak forest, Northern dry deciduous mixed forest, Dry deciduous scrub forest, Salai forest, Dry bamboo forest, and Kardhai forest.
8. There are as many as 1,200 plant species and more than 34 mammalian species that are seen here in the region under the Panna Biosphere Reserve.
9. A total of 281 species of birds have been reported in this area. Most famous bird species of Panna are Bareheaded goose, Honey-buzzard, King Vulture, White-necked stork, Paradise flycatcher, etc.
10. Panna Tiger Reserve is one of the most important Protected Areas in the North-Central highlands of India, as it links the eastern and western populations of wild animals through the Northeast-Southwest running Vindhyan ranges.