Previse 2024: Protected areas

Previse 2024: Protected areas

Most important NP, BR, WLS for Prelims 2024

Table of contents

UPSC has often asked questions about protected areas in the news and from static. 

What is a Protected Area?

Protected areas or conservation areas are locations that receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological, or cultural values. 

  • Protected area is a generic term that includes National Parks, Biosphere Reserve, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Tiger Reserve, Community Reserve etc.
  • In these areas, human occupation or at least the exploitation of resources is limited.  

Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary

Bura Chapori Wildlife Sanctuary | Assam | Bengal Florican

Why in the news? After 40 years, rhinoceros have returned to this sanctuary.


  • It is a notified buffer of the Kaziranga Tiger reserve located in Sonitpur district. 
  • It works as the traditional path for wild animals from Kaziranga to Orang National Park.
  • Being situated on the south bank of the Brahmaputra River, it is an ideal habitat for the Bengal Florican
    • The Bengal Florican is also known as the Bengal bustard and is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. 

Flora & Fauna

  • Flora includes wet alluvial grasslands and semi-evergreen forests with some wetlands
  • Fauna includes Great Indian one-horned rhinoceros, tiger, wild buffalo, wild pig, hog deer and elephants.

Kamlang Tiger Reserve

Kamlang Tiger Reserve | UPSCprep

Why in the news? Kamlang Tiger Reserve conducted a butterfly walk and nature trail event.


  • It is named after the Kamlang River flowing through it and is situated in the south-eastern part of the Lohit District. 
  • Namdapha National Park is situated on the Southern side and there are many elevated water bodies like the Glow Lake.

Flora & Fauna

  • The upper parts of the reserve have Alpine vegetation, while the lower parts have tropical and evergreen forests.
  • The reserve is home to four big cat species including tiger, leopard, snow leopard and clouded leopard
  • Other animals include elephants, leopards, Hollock gibbons, Capped Langur, Boar, Civets, Stump tailed macaques, hornbills, and flying squirrels.

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Palamau Tiger Reserve

Why in the news? Here, four soft-release centers for Cheetals are under construction.


  • It is a part of Betla National Park and located in Chotanagpur plateau.
  • The Auranga River flows in the Northern part and Koel and Burha are the other rivers forming part of this landscape.
  • It is the first reserve in the world in which a tiger census was carried out based on pugmark count.
  • Other water bodies like aquifers locally called ‘Chuan’ and a hot sulfur spring named ‘Tatha’ are present.

Flora & Fauna

  • Flora includes mixed deciduous forests, bamboo groves and Sal trees in abundance.
  • Fauna includes tigers, leopards, gaur, sloth bear, etc.

Kadalundi Vallikunnu Community Reserve

Why in the news? Shrinking mudflat ecosystem of Kadalundi river is keeping shorebirds away.


  • It is a mudflat ecosystem in Kerala and it is India's first riverfront community reserve.
  • The mudflat ecosystem of Kadalundi witnessed a decline in area which has kept the shorebirds away.
  • The sediments in a mudflat are found in the intertidal zone, making it submerged and exposed approximately twice daily.
    • This makes it a very rich foraging ground.
  • A lot of sedimentation in recent years has deprived prey to migrant birds and increased mangrove expanse.
  • Covering of sand in mudflats due to Kerala floods in 2018 and 2019 has further deprived the area of its richness.

Flora & Fauna

  • Flora found in the region: Phytoplankton, zooplankton, seagrass, seven species of mangroves, ten species of mangrove associate flora were documented.
  • Species of Jellyfish, 13 species of molluscs, 59 species of finfishes and crustacean resources, Egrets, Brahminy Kite, Bar-headed goose, Smooth-coated Otter etc.

Lemru Elephant Reserve

Lemru Elephant Reserve | Hasdeo Aranya forests | UPSC

Why in the news? Request to de-notify coal mines under this reserve has been accepted.


  • It is a part of the Hasdeo Aranya forests and known as the lungs of Chhattisgarh.
  • The reserve has a very diverse biozone that is also rich in coal deposits.
  • It aims to decrease man animal conflict as more than 150 elephants have died in Chattisgarh in the last 20 years.
  • The reserve is part of an elephant corridor that connects Lemru in Korba, Badalkhol in Jashpur and Tamorpingla in Surguja.

Flora & Fauna

  • North Chhattisgarh alone is home to over 240 elephants. 

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary | Odisha | UPSC

Why in the news? High prey density was recorded.


  • Comprises dry deciduous forest on Mahanadi River in Odisha.
  • It is located in the Bargarh district of Odisha near Hirakud dam.
  • It became completely free of any human settlement due to a recent resettlement.

Flora & Fauna

  • Fauna includes sambar, chital, four-horned antelope, gaur, elephant, dhole etc.
  • Nearby Hirakud dam attracts numerous migratory waterfowl during winters into the sanctuary.

Anamalai Tiger Reserve

Anamalai Tiger Reserve | UPSC

Why in the news? This reserve is carved out of the Tamil Nadu portion of the Anamalai hills.


  • It is a CATS recognized reserve in TN with Shola forests.
  • It is a protected area in the Anamalai Hills lying to the south of the Palakkad gap in the Southern Western Ghats. 
  • It is surrounded by Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, Eravikulam National Park and Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary.

Flora & Fauna

  • Habitat types include almost all like the wet evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, dry thorn and shola forests.
  • Fauna include Asiatic elephant, Sambar, Barking deer, Spotted deer, Jackal, Leopard, etc.

Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve

Kalakad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve | UPSC

Why in the news?Petition filed in Madras high court to restrict entry of outsiders in the reserve.


  • It is part of the interstate Agasthyamalai Biosphere Reserve in Kerala and TN.
  • It is the first Tiger Reserve of Tamil Nadu and consists of the Kanyakumari Wildlife sanctuary and the Nellai Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is also known as the river sanctuary with 14 rivers originating from it like Thamirabarani river.

Flora & Fauna

  • Flora includes dry thorn forest, dry deciduous, moist deciduous and wet evergreen forests depending on the altitude.
  • Fauna includes Nilgiri Tahr, Nilgiri Pipit, Lion Tailed Macaque, Blue Winged Parakeet etc.

Dampa Tiger Reserve

Dampa Tiger Reserve | UPSC

Why in the news? - A new species of toad named Bufoides bhupathyi was found in Mizoram.


  • The Dampa Tiger Reserve is located in Lushai Hills of Mizoram.
    • It was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1994 under Project Tiger.
    • Project Tiger was started on 1st April 1973 under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • It is the only tiger reserve in India with zero tigers as per the 2018 and 2022 census.
  • The 62 km fence and patrol road along the Bangladesh boundary near has hindered the free movement of Tigers. 

Flora & Fauna

  • Rare flora found include rare ginger species Globba spathulata.
  • Fauna include sloth bear, barking deer, leopard, hoolock gibbon, rhesus macaque etc.
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