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Biodiversity Heritage Site


The Tamil Nadu government issued a notification declaring Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in Madurai district the first biodiversity heritage site in the State.


GS III: Environment and Ecology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages:
  2. About Biodiversity heritage site

Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages:

  • The site, comprising 139.63 hectares in Arittapatti village (in Melur taluk) and 53.58 hectares in Meenakshipuram village (Madurai East taluk), will be known as the Arittapatti Biodiversity Heritage Site, said a notification.
  • Arittapatti, known for its ecological and historical significance, houses around 250 species of birds, including three important raptors — the Laggar Falcon, the Shaheen Falcon and Bonelli’s Eagle.
  • It is also home to wildlife such as the Indian pangolin, slender loris and pythons.

About Biodiversity heritage site

  • 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,
    • Species richness – Wild and domesticated species or intra-specific categories,
    • High endemism,
    • Presence of rare, endemic and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance,
    • Presence of wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or landraces or their varieties,
    • Past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having cultural or aesthetic values.
    • 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,
  • State Governments can notify in the official gazette, in consultation with ‘local bodies’, areas of biodiversity importance as BHS.
  • State Government in consultation with the Central Government may frame rules for the management and conservation of BHS.
  • 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.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023