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  • 24 November, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

Arittapatti Village:Biodiversity Heritage Site

Arittapatti Village: Biodiversity Heritage Site

  • In accordance with Section 37 of the Biodiversity Diversity Act, 2002, the Government of Tamil Nadu published a notification designating Arittapatti Village in Melur in the Madurai district as a biodiversity heritage site.
  • The Biodiversity Heritage site is the first site to be nominated in the Southern State and is located on a 193.21 hectare parcel of land.
  • The local residents' involvement in biodiversity and conservation initiatives would be strengthened with the designation of Arittapatti Village as Tamil Nadu's first biodiversity heritage site.

First Biodiversity Heritage Site in Tamil Nadu: Major Points

  • The Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site would be known as the area that spans 139.63 hectares in Arittapatti Village (Melur Block) and 53.8 hectares in Meenakshipuram Village (Madurai East Taluk).
  • A series of seven arid granite hillocks surrounds the Arittapatti Village, serving as a watershed for close to 72 lakes, 200 natural spring pools, and three check dams.
  • The site's historical significance is further enhanced by the presence of several megalithic buildings, Tamil Brahmi Inscriptions, Jain beds, and 2200-year-old rock-cut temples.
  • It is Tamil Nadu’s first and India’s 35th Biodiversity Heritage Site.
  • Arittapatti village is rich in ecological and historical significance, it houses around 250 species of birds including three important raptors, birds of prey namely:
  • Laggar Falcon
  • Shaheen Falcon
  • Bonelli’s Eagle
  • It is also home to wildlife such as the Indian Pangolin, Slender Loris and Pythons.

What is A Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)?

  • With a high diversity of wild and domesticated species, the existence of rare and threatened species, and keystone species, biodiversity heritage sites are well-defined, ecologically delicate ecosystems.

Legal Requirement:

  • According to the provisions of Section 37(1) of the "Biological Diversity Act, 2002," the State Government may occasionally, in conjunction with the local bodies, notify areas of biodiversity value as under this Act in the Official Gazette.


  • Other than those voluntarily determined by the local communities, the creation of BHS may not impose any restrictions on the common practises and usages of such communities. The goal is to improve the local residents' quality of life through conservation efforts.

Indian BHS's initial:

  • Nallur Tamarind Grove in Bengaluru, Karnataka was the first Biodiversity Heritage Site of India, declared in 2007.

Last Five Additions to BHS:

  • Debbari or Chabimura in Tripura (September 2022)
  • Betlingshib & its surroundings in Tripura (September 2022)
  • Hajong Tortoise Lake in Assam (August 2022)
  • Borjuli Wild Rice Site in Assam (August 2022)
  • Amarkantak in Madhya Pradesh (July 2022)

Source: The Indian Express

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