Protected Areas

The Protected Area is a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed through legal or effective means, to achieve the long term conservation of nature with associated ecosystems services and conservation value (IUCN, 2008)

As per the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 Protected Area means a National Park, a sanctuary, a conservation reserve or a community reserve notified under the Act.

In Tamil Nadu, the protected areas under different categories are listed below:

Biosphere reserves:

Biosphere reserves are areas comprising terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems. Each reserve promotes solutions reconciling the conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use.Biosphere reserves are ‘Science for Sustainability support sites’. Biosphere reserves are internationally recognised; they are however, nominated by national governments and remain under the sovereign jurisdiction of the states where they are located.

Biosphere reserves have three interrelated zones;

  • 1. The core area(s): comprises a strictly protected ecosystem that contributes to the conservation of landscapes, ecosystems, species and genetic variation.
  • 2. The buffer zone: surrounds or adjoins the core areas, and is used for activities compatible with sound ecological practices that can reinforce scientific research, monitoring, training and education.
  • 3. The transition area: is the part of the reserve where the greatest activity is allowed, fostering economic and human development that is socio-culturally and ecologically sustainable.

Tamil Nadu has 3 Biosphere Reserves;

  • 1. Agasthiyarmalai Biosphere Reserve - 1,67,236 ha
  • 2. Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve - 10,50,000 ha
  • 3. Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve - 2,53,800 ha

National Parks

National Parks are areas of ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological or zoological association or importance notified to serve a purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife therein or its environment.

Tamil Nadu has the following National Parks:

Sl.No Name Area (ha) District in which located
1 Guindy 270.57 Chennai
2 Gulf of Mannar 52602.00 Ramanathapuram&Tuticorin
3 Indira Gandhi 11710.00 Coimbatore
4 Mudumalai 10323.00 Nilgiris
5 Mukurthi 7846.00 Nilgiris


Wildlife Sanctuaries are areas or territorial waters with adequate ecological, faunal, floral, geomorphological, natural or zoological significance notified for the purpose of protecting, propagating or developing wildlife or its environment. Tamil Nadu has the following Sanctuaries:

Sl.No Name Area (ha) District in which located
1 Cauvery North 50433.48 Krishnagiri&Dharmapuri
2 Chitrangudi Bird 47.63 Ramanathapuram
3 Gangaikondam Spotted Deer 288.40 Tirunelveli
4 Indira Gandhi (Anamalai) 84149.00 Nilgiris
5 Kalakkad 22358.00 Tirunelveli
6 Kanjirankulam Bird 104.00 Ramanathapuram
7 Kanyakumari 40239.55 Kanyakumari
8 Karaivetti 453.71 Perambalur
9 Karikilli 61.21 Kanchipuram
10 Kodaikanal 60895.48 Dindigul& Theni
11 Koonthankulam-Kadankulam 129.00 Tirunelveli
12 Meghamalai 26910.81 Theni
13 Melaselvanoor-Keelaselvanoor 593.08 Ramanathpuram
14 Mudumalai 21776.00 Nilgiris
15 Mundanthurai 58207.58 Tirunelveli
16 Nellai 35673.33 Tirunelveli
17 Oussudu Lake 331.785 Villupuram
18 Point Calimere 1728.81 Nagappattinam
19 Point Calimere Block A and B 12407.27 Thanjavur, Tiruvarur and Nagapattinam
20 Pulicat Lake 15367.00 Tiruvallur
21 Sathyamangalam 141160.94 Erode
22 Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel 48520.00 Virudhunagar
23 Theerthangal 29.29 Ramanathapuram
24 Sakkarakottai 230.49 Ramanathapuram
25 Udayamarthandapuram Lake 45.28 Thiruvarur
26 Vaduvoor 128.10 Thiruvarur
27 Vedanthangal Lake 30.00 Chengalpattu
28 Vellanadu Blackbuck 1641.00 Tuticorin
29 Vellode 77.18 Erode
30 Vettangudi 38.40 Sivagangai

Conservation Reserves

Conservation Reserves are areas owned by the Government, particularly the areas adjacent to National Parks or sanctuaries and thoseareas which link one protected area with another which are notified for protecting landscapes, seascapes, flora and fauna and their habitat.

Tamil Nadu has the following Conservation Reserves:

Sl.No Name Area (ha) District in which located
1 Tiruppadaimarathur 2.84 Tirunelveli
2 Suchindrum – Theroor - Managudi 484.77 Kanyakumari

Tiger Reserves

Tiger Reserves are areas recommended by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and notified by the State Government for the conservation of tigers, co predators and prey.

Tamil Nadu has the following Tiger Reserves:

Sl.No Name Core Area (sq. km.) Buffer Area (sq. km.) Total Area (sq. km.) District
1 Anamalai 958.59 521.28 1479.87 Coimbatore / Tiruppur
2 Kalakad – Mundanthurai 895.00 706.542 1601.542 Tirunelveli
3 Mudumalai 321.00 367.59 688.59 Nilgiris
4 Sathyamangalam 793.493 614.912 1408.405 Erode