As per the provisions of sub-section (1) of section 37 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, and Rule 20 of the West Bengal Biological Diversity Rules, 2005, the State Government upon recommendation of the West Bengal Biodiversity Board from time to time, notifies in official gazette, the areas of biodiversity importance as Biodiversity Heritage Sites (BHS). At present three BHS have been notified in the State, two of them belong to the Medicinal Plant Conservation Areas of Darjeeling Forest Division, Darjeeling District (viz. Dhotrey BHS and Tonglu BHS), whereas the third one is a Sacred Grove in Jhargram District (viz. Chilkigarh Kanak Durga Sacred Grove). West Bengal Biodiversity Board is in process of identification and subsequent recommendation of more sites of biodiversity importance from the state for notification as BHS.
The BHS was notified by the State Government vide notification no. 716-EN/T-II-7/003-ii/2003, dated 20.03.2015. It is under the jurisdiction of Darjeeling Pulbazar Block BMC, Darjeeling District [88.08285°E, 27.03786°N (Centroid)] and comprises of 230 ha area of Medicinal Plant Conservation Area (Forest Land), under Darjeeling Forest Division. The said area of BHS incorporates 35 ha of Tonglu 2 forest compartment, 155 ha of Kankibong 3 forest compartment and 40 ha of Kankibong 4 forest compartment. The forest type of BHS is (12/C3a) Eastern Himalayan Moist temperate group and has altitudinal range of 2600-3036 m (asl) with typical Darjeeling Gneiss Geology/ Rock formation with sandy loam soil. The flagship species of this BHS is Aconitum bisma, other important species are Aconitum ferox, A. spicatum, Actinidia strigosa, Berberis spicatum, Holboellia latifolia, Panax pseudo-ginseng, Picrorhiza kurroa, Podophyllum hexandrum, Swertia chirayita, Thalictrum foliosum etc.
The BHS was notified by the State Government vide notification no. 716– EN/T-II-7/003-ii/2003, dated 20.03.2015. It is under the jurisdiction of Darjeeling Pulbazar Block BMC, Darjeeling District [88.11344°E, 27.06358°N (Centroid)] and comprises of 180 ha area of Medicinal Plant Conservation Area (Forest Land), under Darjeeling Forest Division. The said area of BHS incorporates 20 ha of Selimbong 3 forest compartment, 95 ha of Selimbong 4 forest compartment and 65 ha of Kankibong 1 forest compartment. The forest type of BHS is (11B/C1c) Eastern Himalayan Wet Temperate forest of Northern Wet Temperate group and has altitudinal range of 1923-2665 m (asl) with typical Darjeeling Gneiss Geology/ Rock formation with humus rich sandy loam soil. The flagship species of this BHS is Taxus wallichiana, other important species are Panax pseudo-ginseng, Swertia chirayita etc.
The BHS was notified by the State Government vide notification no. 926/EN/T-II-7/003-ii/2003, dated 16.04.2018 (Gazetted on 21.05.2018). It is under the jurisdiction of Jamboni Block BMC, Jhargram District [86.88211°E, 22.45275°N (Centroid)] and comprises of 55.9 Acre area JL no. 131, Dag no. 59 of Chilkigarh Mouza. The forest type of BHS is (5B/C1) Northern Tropical Dry Deciduous forest and has altitudinal range of 70-78 m (asl), with metamorphic and igneous rocks like schists, gneiss, granite and reddish-brown silt-clay loamy soil. The BHS is a relic forest patch in its near-climax stage along the east catchment zone of the Dulung river. The landmass is considered sacred with traditional belief and taboos, as it harbours the historically eminent temple of Kanak Durga. The BHS is home to 388 species of plants, including trees, lianas of the ancient families like Magnoliaceae, Annonaceae etc. and some rare cryptogams like Ophioglossum reticulatum and Helminthostachys zeylanica. The BHS also hosts medicinal plants with diminishing population like Strychnos nux-vomica, Crateva nurvala, Holarrhena pubescens, Rauvolfia serpentina etc. Besides the BHS shelters diversity of insects, spiders, squirrels, birds, langurs, reptiles, amphibians etc.
As per the Section -7 of the Biological Diversity Act, 2002, accessing bio-resources and associated traditional knowledge of the state of West Bengal requires prior intimation to the West Bengal Biodiversity Board. The intimation to the Board should be given in specified format (Form-I & Form-A) along with requisite Application Fee.