Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve
The Great Nicobar Biosphere Reserve encompasses a large part (some 85%) of the island of Great Nicobar, the largest of the Nicobar Islands in the Indian Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Nicobars lie in the Bay of Bengal, eastern Indian Ocean, 190 km to the north of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The Reserve has a total core area of approximately 885 km², surrounded by a 12km-wide "forest buffer zone".
The Reserve was declared in January 1989. It incorporates two National parks of India, which were gazetted in 1992: the larger Campbell Bay National Park on the northern part of the island, and Galathea National Park in the southern interior. The non-Biosphere portions of the island (set aside for agriculture, forestry and settlements) are confined to the southwestern and southeastern coastal reaches.
Flora and fauna
The reserve is home to many species of plants and animals, often endemic to the Andaman and Nicobars biogeographic region. Species of fauna in the reserve include: Nicobar scrubfowl (Megapodius nicobariensis, a megapode bird), the Edible-nest Swiftlet (Aerodramus fuciphagus), the Nicobar Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis umbrosa), saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), giant Leatherback Sea Turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Malayan box turtle, Nicobar tree shrew, reticulated python (Python reticulatus) and the giant robber crab (or coconut crab, Birgus latro).
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