Amboli declared a biodiversity heritage site

Amboli declared a biodiversity heritage site

Amboli declared a biodiversity heritage site

Recently, the state government of Maharashtra declared Amboli region in Sindhudurg district of Western Ghats as a biodiversity heritage site under the Biodiversity Act, 2002.

Recently, under the leadership of Thackeray Wildlife Foundation, researchers have found fish of the species ‘SchisturaHiranyakeshi’ in a temple pond here.

In Maharashtra, a place called Amboli is known as the temple of Goddess Parvati and the origin of the Hiranyakeshi River.

Based on the discovery of a rare colorful freshwater fish species “SchisturaHiranyakeshi” in the area, it has been declared a biodiversity heritage site.


  • SchisturaHiranyakeshi is a rare sub-species of Schistura, a freshwater loachwhich are found in oxygen rich sources.
  • Tejas Thackeray, a wildlife researcher, along with his team published the discovery of this new fish species in the International Journal of Ecology in October 2020.
  • ShisturaHiranyakeshi was named after the Hiranyakeshi River which flows near the village of Aboli.
  • The decision to declare its habitat a biodiversity heritage site was taken as it is a rare species and due to fishing activities, it is in danger of extinction.

Biodiversity Heritage Site:

  • Any specific, ecologically fragile ecosystem – terrestrial, coastal and inland, and marine bodies can be designated as biodiversity heritage sites by the state government.
  • In consultation with local bodies, the state government may notify areas of biodiversity importance as biodiversity heritage sites.
  • Governments of the states of India can notify biodiversity heritage sites under Section 37 of the Biodiversity Act of 2002 in consultation with local governing bodies.
  • These areas are considered unique and sensitive ecosystems. These can be terrestrial, coastal and inland water or marine ecosystems.

Biodiversity Act, 2002:

  • The Biodiversity Act 2002 was enacted to achieve the objectives contained in the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity, 1992, which recognizes states’ sovereign rights to use their own biological resources.
  • The National Biodiversity Authority and the State Biodiversity Board have been established under this Act.
  • The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) is a statutory autonomous body, headquartered in Chennai. It functions under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India.
  • State Biodiversity Boards (SBBs) have been created in all states with 31,574 biological management committees (for each local body) across India.

Other Biodiversity Heritage Sites of Maharashtra

Many more regions across Maharashtra have also been declared as biodiversity heritage sites. It includes Landor Khori Park in Jalgaon, Ganesh Khind in Pune, Allapalli in Gadchiroli and the Myristica swamp vegetation area of Sindhudurg.

Source- The Hindu

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