India’s 5 More Wetlands Get Ramsar tag: Basics Explained

Five more wetlands of India got a tag of international importance under Ramsar Convention taking the total number of such globally recognized wetlands in the country to 80.

The list includes Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary and Longwood Shola Reserve Forest in Tamil Nadu, Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve, Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve, and Aghanashini Estuary in Karnataka. The new addition has made India the fourth largest country in terms of number of sites in the list after the UK (175), Mexico (144), China (82).

In India, Tamil Nadu continues to have the maximum number of Ramsar sites (16) followed by Uttar Pradesh (10).

LEARNING FROM HOME/ WITHOUT CLASSES/ BASICS

Wetlands provide a range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water and fibre. India is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation, as a contribution towards achieving sustainable development throughout the world”.

                    The Convention uses a broad definition of wetlands. It includes all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs and salt pans.


WETLANDS.  Wetlands are areas of land where water covers the soil – all year or just at certain times of the year. It includes all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatlands, oases, estuaries, deltas and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites such as fish ponds, rice paddies, reservoirs and salt pans. Wetlands may be natural or artificial and the water within a wetland may be static or flowing, fresh, brackish or saline. There are even underground wetlands.

Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else.

Globally, wetlands cover 6.4 per cent of the geographical area of the world.

In India, according to the National Wetland Inventory and Assessment compiled by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), wetlands are spread over 1,52,600 square kilometres (sq km) which is 4.63 per cent of the total geographical area of the country.

           Of the 1,52,600 sq km, inland-natural wetlands account for 43.4% and coastal-natural wetlands 24.3%. Rivers/streams occupy 52,600 sq km, reservoirs/barrages 24,800 sq km, inter-tidal mudflats 24,100 sq km, tanks/ponds 13,100 sq km and lake/ponds 7300 sq km.

           India has 19 types of wetlands. In state-wise distribution of wetlands, Gujarat is at the top with 34,700 sq km (17.56 percent of total geographical area of the state), or 22.7 percent of total wetlands areas of the country thanks to a long coastline.It is followed by Andhra Pradesh (14,500 sq km), Uttar Pradesh (12,400 sq km) and West Bengal (11,100 sq km).

India has 49 Ramsar sites which are as following:
ASHTAMUDI WETLAND
BHITARKANIKA MANGROVES
BHOJ WETLAND
CHANDERTAL WETLAND
CHILIKA LAKE
DEEPOR BEEL
EAST CALCUTTA WETLANDS
HARIKE LAKE
HOKERA WETLAND
KANJLI
KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK
KOLLERU LAKE
LOKTAK LAKE
NALSAROVAR
POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE AND BIRD SANCTUARY
PONG DAM LAKE
RENUKA WETLAND
ROPAR
RUDRASAGAR LAKE
SAMBHAR LAKE
SASTHAMKOTTA LAKE
SURINSAR-MANSAR LAKES
TSOMORIRI
UPPER GANGA RIVER
VEMBANAD-KOL WETLAND
WULAR LAKE

SUNDARBAN WETLAND(2019)

Nandur Madhameshwar(2020)

Keshopur-Miani,(2020)

Beas Conservation Reserve(2020)

Nangal (2020)

Nawabganj (2020)

Parvati Agra (2020)

Saman (2020)

Samaspur (2020)

Sandi (2020)

Sarsai Nawa (2020)

Kabartla (2020)

Lonar lake (2020)

Sur Sarovar (2020)

Tso Kar (2020)

Sultanpur National Park(2021) 

Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary(2021)

Thol(2021)

 Wadhwana(2021)

Sultanpur National Park(2021) 

Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary(2021)

Thol(2021)

 Wadhwana(2021)

Haiderpur (2021) UP

The Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary near Jamnagar in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh have been listed as Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention(2022). With this, the total number of Ramsar sites in India goes up to 49.

The new Ramsar sites in India include three wetlands in Tamil Nadu, one in Mizoram and one in Madhya Pradesh in July 2022. This takes the total number of Ramsar Sites in India to 54

 Karikili Bird Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu,)

Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest (Tamil Nadu,)

Pichavaram Mangrove (Tamil Nadu,)

Pala wetland (Mizoram)

Sakhya Sagar (Madhya Pradesh)

India has designated 10 more wetlands as Ramsar sites in August 2022, taking the total tally of Ramsar Sites in India to 64. 

1.Koonthankulam Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu 
2.Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu 
3.Vembannur Wetland ComplexTamil Nadu 
4.Vellode Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu 
5.Vedanthangal Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu 
6.Udhayamarthandapuram Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu 
7.Satkosia GorgeOdisha 
8.Nanda LakeGoa 
9.Ranganathituu BSKarnataka 
10Sirpur wetland Madhya Pradesh 

11 sites added on 13 August 2022

1.       Tampara Lake300Odisha
2.       Hirakud Reservoir65400
3.       Ansupa Lake231
4.       Yashwant Sagar822.90Madhya Pradesh
5.       Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary260.47Tamil Nadu
6.       Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex94.23
7.       Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary112.64
8.       Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary96.89
9.       Thane Creek6521.08Maharashtra
10.   Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve801.82Jammu and Kashmir
11.   Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve1675
 Total area of 11 sites76316 
5 more sites have got Ramsar tag on 31 Jan 2024. Now India has a total of 80 sites
Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary
Tamil Nadu
Longwood Shola Reserve Forest
Tamil Nadu
Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve
Karnataka
Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve
Karnataka
Aghanashini Estuary
Karnataka
 

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