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  • 02 April, 2021

  • 8 Min Read

Biodiversity Heritage Sites in India: UPSC PRELIMS

Biodiversity Heritage Sites in India: UPSC PRELIMS

GS-Paper-3: Environment– UPSC PRELIMS – Mains Application

Context: BHS are areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems - terrestrial, coastal, inland and marine waters - having a rich biodiversity. Maharashtra government declared an area at Amboli in Western ghats in Sindhudurg district as a Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS).

More Envi Information: http://www.wiienvis.nic.in/Database/bhs_8650.aspx
BHS are areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems - terrestrial, coastal, inland and marine waters - having a rich biodiversity.

  • The biodiversity comprises any one or more of the components like,
    1. Species richness - Wild and domesticated species or intra-specific categories,
    2. High endemism,
    3. Presence of rare, endemic and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance,
    4. Presence of wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or landraces or their varieties,
    5. Past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having cultural or aesthetic values.
    6. Area with significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values; important for the maintenance of cultural diversity

As per Section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002,

    1. State Governments can notify in the official gazette, in consultation with ‘local bodies’, areas of biodiversity importance as BHS.
    2. State Government in consultation with the Central Government may frame rules for the management and conservation of BHS.
    3. State Governments can frame schemes for compensating or rehabilitating anyone economically affected by such notification.

State Biodiversity Boards (SBB) may invite suggestions for the declaration of BHSs, through the Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) and other relevant community institutions.

Areas having any of the following characteristics may qualify for inclusion as BHS.

Biodiversity Heritage Site (BHS)


Nallur Tamarind Grove

Bangalore, Karnataka


Chikmagalur, Karnataka

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru




Glory of Allapalli


Tonglu BHS and Dhotrey BHS under the Darjeeling Forest Division

Darjeeling, West Bengal



Dialong Village


Ameenpur lake




Gharial Rehabilitation Centre

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Chilkigarh Kanak Durga

West Bengal

Purvatali Rai


Naro Hills

Madhya Pradesh



Schistura Hiranyakeshi

  • It is a new small freshwater fish species discovered near Amboli in Sawantwadi tehsil of Sindhudurg district.
  • It is a rare sub-species of Schistura, a freshwater loach.
  • Named after the Hiranyakeshi River near Amboli village, this fish is a colourful fish that lives in water and streams in an abundance of oxygen.
  • It was important to conserve this species as it might face extinction due to fishing activities.

Source: ENVIS

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