Area in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg named as a ‘biodiversity heritage site’

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  • Published
    6th Apr, 2021


The Maharashtra government declared an area in the Sindhudurg district in the Western Ghats as a biodiversity heritage site to protect a rare small fish Schistura.


About Schistura

  • Schistura is a small and colorful fish.
  • Schistura Hiranyakeshiis a rare sub-species of Schistura which is a freshwater loach.
  • The fish was named after the Hiranyakeshiriver near Amboli
  • It lives in water and streams with plenty of oxygen.

Why it has been declared a biodiversity heritage site?

  • The decision came in the view of the protection of a freshwater species of fish, Schistura.
  • It is a rare species and might face extinction due to fishing activities.

Other biodiversity heritage sites by the state government

  • The glory of Allapalli in Gadchiroli district
  • Landor Khori Park in Jalgaon
  • Ganesh Khind in Pune
  • Myristica swamp vegetation in Sindhudurg district

Biodiversity heritage sites

  • Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS) are areas that are unique and with rich biodiversity.
  • According to Section 37, of the Biological Diversity Act, the State Governments in consultation with ‘local bodies’ are empowered to notify areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites.

Criteria for Identification of BHS

  • Areas that contain a mosaic of natural, semi-natural, and manmade habitats
  • Areas that contain significant domesticated biodiversity component and/or representative agro-ecosystems with ongoing agricultural practices that sustain this diversity
  • Areas that are significant from a biodiversity point of view as also important cultural spaces such as sacred groves/trees and sites, or other large community conserved areas
  • Areas including very small ones that offer refuge or corridors for threatened and endemic fauna and flora, such as community conserved areas or urban greens and wetlands
  • Areas that provide habitats, aquatic or terrestrial, for seasonal migrant species for feeding and breeding
  • Areas that are maintained as preservation plots by the research wing of the Forest department
  • Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas

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