Tamilnadu gets its first biodiversity heritage site

Tamilnadu gets its first biodiversity heritage site

Why in news : The Tamilnadu state government issued a notification regarding the state’s first biodiversity heritage site.

Key points about the site :

  • Name of the site : Arittapatti biodiversity heritage site consisting of Arittapatti and Meenakshipuram villages in Madurai district.


  • It is known for its ecological and historical significance, housing nearly 250 bird species 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.
  • The Anaikondan tank, built during the reign of the pandiyan kings in the 16th century, is also located in the site.

About Biodiversity Heritage Site :

  • Biodiversity Heritage Sites are areas that are unique, ecologically fragile ecosystems – terrestrial, coastal, inland and marine waters – having a rich biodiversity.
  • The State Government can notify the Biodiversity Heritage Sites in consultation with local governing bodies.
  • These are declared under Section 37 of Biological Diversity Act of 2002.
  • They can be either terrestrial, coastal and inland waters or marine ecosystems.

The ‘Biodiversity Heritage Sites’ (BHS) are unique ecosystems having rich biodiversity comprising of any one or more of the following components:

  • Richness of wild as well as domesticated species or intra-specific categories.
  • High endemism.
  • Presence of rare and threatened species, keystone species, species of evolutionary significance.
  • Wild ancestors of domestic/cultivated species or their varieties.
  • Past pre-eminence of biological components represented by fossil beds and having significant cultural, ethical or aesthetic values and are important for the maintenance of cultural diversity, with or without a long history of human association with them.
    • Ameenpur Lakebecomes the first Biodiversity Heritage Site in the country. It is the first body of water in India to be recognized as a Biodiversity Heritage Site and is the first biodiversity site to be approved in an urban area.
    • “The creation of BHS may not put any restriction on the prevailing practices and usages of the local communities, other than those voluntarily decided by them.
    • The purpose of declaring BHS is to enhance the quality of life of the local communities through conservation of such sites.”