76 Ramsar Sites in India (2023) : List, Names, Map, Importance | UPSC Notes

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76 Ramsar Sites in India (2023) : List, Names, Map, Importance | UPSC Notes

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Wetland

A wetland is a unique environment that is permanently or seasonally flooded by water and doesn’t have much oxygen. Wetlands are different from other types of land or bodies of water because they have unique plants that have adapted to the unique soil conditions.

Wetlands are defined in a broad way by the Convention. It includes all lakes and rivers, underground aquifers, swamps and marshes, wet grasslands, peatland, oases, estuaries, deltas, and tidal flats, mangroves and other coastal areas, coral reefs, and all human-made sites like fish ponds, rice farms, reservoirs, and salt pans.

Why wetlands are important

• Wetlands are a very important part of the natural world. They lessen the effects of floods, protect coastlines, and make communities more resilient to disasters. They also soak up pollution and improve the quality of water.

• Wetlands are important for life on Earth and for people. More than a billion people rely on them for a living, and 40% of the world’s species live and breed in wetlands.

• They are an important source of food, raw materials, genetic resources for medicines, and hydropower.

• Peatlands keep 30% of the carbon that is found on land.

• They are important for transportation, tourism, and people’s culture and spiritual health.

• Wetlands are often beautiful places, and many of them are important to Aboriginal people.

Threats

• According to a world assessment by the IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services), wetlands are the ecosystem that is most at risk.

• Human actions and global warming are causing wetland areas to disappear 3 times faster than forests.

• UNESCO says that the danger to wetlands will hurt 40% of the plants and animals that live or breed in wetlands around the world.

• Agriculture, growth, pollution, and climate change are the most dangerous things.

IPBES

• IPBES is an independent intergovernmental group that was set up to strengthen the link between science and policy for biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to protect biodiversity and use it in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment or people in the long run.

• It was set up in April 2012 in Panama City, US.

• It is not a part of the UN.

Ramsar Convention on Wetlands

In 1971, the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed in a city in Iran called Ramsar. This is where the word “wetlands” was first used.

It is also called the Wetlands Convention.

The Ramsar Convention is a treaty about marshes that was signed in the city of Ramsar in Iran in 1971. In the 1960s, different countries and NGOs started working on a convention to protect the wetland habitats of migratory waterbirds. In 1975, it was finally put into effect.

The Ramsar Convention was signed on February 2, 1971, which is why February 2 is known as International Wetlands Day.

The Ramsar Convention is made possible with the help of the following groups:

1. IUCN stands for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

2. International Birdlife.

3. IWMI stands for the International Water Management Institute.

4. Wetland International.

5. Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT)

6. World Wildlife Fund

Under the “three pillars” of the Convention, the Contracting Parties agree to:

1. work towards using all of their marshes in a smart way;

2. put suitable wetlands on the “Ramsar List” of “Wetlands of International Importance” and make sure they are managed well;

3. transboundary wetlands, shared wetland systems, and animals that are found in both countries.

Ramsar Sites

A Ramsar Site is a wetland site that is on the list of the Ramsar Convention, which tries to protect it and help people use its natural resources in a sustainable way.

When a country joins the Convention, it agrees to put at least one wetland spot on the List of Wetlands of International Importance.

Putting a “Ramsar Site” on the List shows that the government is willing to do what it takes to make sure that its natural character is kept.

Montreux Record keeps track of the Ramsar sites to keep an eye on any big changes in the environment that might affect any of the wetland sites in a good or bad way.

• The Montreux Record is a list of wetland sites on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international interest where ecological changes have happened, are happening, or are likely to happen because of technological changes, pollution, or other human interference. It is kept up because it is on the Ramsar List.

• Two swamp areas from India are currently in Montreux Record:

Rajasthan’s Keoladeo National Park and

 Loktak Lake (Manipur).

• Note: Chilka Lake (Odisha) was added to the record, but it was taken out later.

There are more than 2,400 Ramsar Sites in 171 Ramsar Contracting Parties all over the world. They are bigger than Mexico and cover more than 2.5 million square kilometres.

• India is a member of the Ramsar Convention. India became a part of it on February 1, 1982.

• The Sundarbans is India’s biggest Ramsar Site.

• Chilika Lake in Orissa and Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan were the first two places in India to be named Ramsar Sites.

• The smallest wetland in India is the Renuka Wetland in Himachal Pradesh. It is 20 ha in size.

• The Cobourg Peninsula in Australia was named the first Ramsar site in the world in 1974.

Ramsar Sites in India

• India joined the Ramsar convention on February 1, 1982.

• All wetlands, no matter where they are, how big they are, who owns them, how much biodiversity they have, or how important their ecosystem services are, can be notified under the Wetlands Rules of 2017. The only exceptions are river channels, paddy fields, and man-made waterbodies built for drinking water, aquaculture, salt production, recreation, irrigation, and drainage, as well as wetlands in areas covered by the Indian Forest Act of 1927, the Forest (Conservation) Act of 1980, the

• India has more than 7 million wetland areas, which cover 4.5 percent of the country’s land area. However, none of these wetland areas have been recognised by Indian law.

• The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, say what can and can’t be done with wetlands.

India has 75 Ramsar Sites as of August 2022.

List of Indian Ramsar sites

________________________________________

Ramsar sites in India with International importance

1. Ashtamudi Wetland

• It is a lake in the district of Kollam.

• The Kallada River and the Pallichal River flow into it.

• It flows into the sea at Neendakara, which is a well-known fishing port in Kerala.

• It is crossed by National Waterway 3.

2. Beas Conservation Reserve

• This part of the Beas River is 185 kilometres long.

• There are islands, sand bars, and braided waterways all along the stretch.

• The Reserve is the only place in India where the rare Indus river dolphin is known to live.

• In 2017, a programme was started to bring the gharial back from the brink of extinction.

3. Bhitarkanika Mangroves

• It is part of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and was named a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2002.

• The Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary and the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary are right next to each other.

• It is known for its Olive ridley sea turtles and salty crocodiles.

• Bhitarkanika National Park was made out of the main part of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.

The Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.

• Bhitarkanika is where the Brahmani, Baitarani, Dhamra, and Mahanadi rivers come together.

4. Bhoj Wetland

• There are two lakes in the city of Bhopal that make up the Wetland.

• The two lakes are called the Lower Lake and the Bhojtal.

• It is a pond that people made.

• The sarus crane, which is India’s biggest bird, lives here.

5. Chandra Taal

• It is a lake in a high place. Tso Chikgma is a lake in the Lahaul part of the Lahul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. It is also called Chandra Taal, which means “Lake of the Moon.”

• Chandra Taal is close to where the Chandra River starts, which is one of the rivers that feeds into the Chenab.

• It helps Snow Leopard, which is on the IUCN Red List.

• In the summer, you can find species that move around, like the Ruddy shelduck.

6. Chilika Lake

• It is a pond with salty water near where the Daya River meets the sea.

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• It is India’s biggest coastal lake.

• Birds come here from as far away as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, and the Aral Sea, as well as from Ladakh and the Himalayas.

• The Ramsar Convention named Chilika Lake the first Indian wetland of world importance in 1981.

• The Nalbana Bird Sanctuary is the most important part of the Chilika Lake Ramsar water area.

• The Irrawaddy dolphin, which is in danger of going extinct, is the most famous animal in Chilika lake.

• There is only one known group of Irrawaddy dolphins in India, and they live in Chilka.

• It is said that 20% of India’s seagrass can be found in Chilika Lake. Seagrass is important because it helps make oxygen, absorbs carbon dioxide, and cleans water.

7. Deepor Beel

• A constant freshwater lake where the Brahmaputra river used to flow.

• It is a few kilometres to the left of Guwahati and about 35 kilometres to the right of the Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary.

8. East Kolkata Wetlands

• It is a swamp that serves the city of Kolkata and has more than one use.

9. Harike Wetland

• It is a small body of water near where the Beas and Sutlej rivers meet.

• During migration, more than 200,000 Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.) stop there to breed, spend the winter, or pass through.

• At Harike Wetlands, the government of Punjab wants to put in cars that can go on both land and water.

• Putting back wild gharials in the Harike marshes near the Beas river.

10. Hokera Wetland

• Srinagar is only 10 km away.

• It is a natural marsh that stays wet all the time and is next to the Jhelum basin.

11. Kanjli Wetland

• The Kanjli Wetland, which includes the Kanjli Lake and is in the Kapurthala district of Punjab, is a man-made wetland. It was made by building the headworks across the perennial Bien River, which is a tributary of the Beas River, in order to provide irrigation to the countryside.

• From a religious point of view, the stream is the most important in the state because it is linked to Shri teacher Nanak, the first teacher of the Sikhs.

12. Keoladeo National Park

• This place used to be called the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary.

• A group of ten yearly man-made lagoons of different sizes.

• The vegetation is a mix of scrub and open grassland, which gives migrant birds a place to nest, spend the winter, and pass through.

• The invasive growth of the grass Paspalum distichum has changed the ecological character of big parts of the site, making it less suitable for certain waterbird species, especially the Siberian crane.

• It’s also on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

13. Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve

• The Site is a good example of how a community-run marsh can be used in a way that helps people get food and protects local wildlife.

• There are fragile species like the common pochard and endangered species like the spotted pond turtle.

14. Kolleru Lake

• A natural, eutrophic lake between the Godavari and Krishna river basins in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The lake acts as a natural dam to keep the two rivers from flooding too much.

• It used to be a marsh, but now it’s several kilometres inland because the coast is rising up and forming a delta.

• The Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 in India made it a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1999.

• Under the Ramsar convention, it was named a wetland of world importance in the year 2002.

The Atapaka Bird Sanctuary at Kolleru Lake has become a safe place for Grey Pelicans and Painted Storks to raise their young.

• The current amount of water in Kolleru Lake, which includes Atapaka Sanctuary, makes it a little harder for the birds to hunt in the deep water.

• The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species says that both the Grey Pelican and the Painted Stork are near-threatened species.

Eutrophic body of water

• The eutrophic body of water, which is usually a lake or pond, has a lot of living things in it.

• There are a lot of marine plants in these bodies of water because they have a lot of nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus.

• Most of the time, marine plants or algae will cover most of the water body. When water plants are the most common, the water is often clear. When algae are most common, the water is usually greener.

15. Loktak Lake

• The largest freshwater lake in the north-eastern part of the country is Loktak Lake.

• The only national park in the world that floats, Keibul Lamjao, is over it.

16. Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary

• The biggest natural wetland in the Thar Desert is a freshwater lake that used to be a sea.

• The wetland is the only place where a small group of rare Indian Wild Asses can live.

17. Nandur Madhameshwar

• Building the Nandur Madhameshwar Weir at the point where the Godavari and Kadwa Rivers meet made a swamp that is full of life.

18. The Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary

• It is in the mountains of Shiwalik in Punjab.

• It has a lot of plants and animals, including rare ones like the Indian pangolin and Egyptian vulture.

• It is in a man-made lake that was built in 1961 as part of the Bhakra-Nangal Project.

• The spot is important to history because it is where the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” were signed by the Indian and Chinese Prime Ministers in 1954.

19. Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary

• In 2015, it got a new name: the Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary.

20. The Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary

• There are two oxbow lakes that are always filled with fresh water.

• The Sanctuary is a safe place for the severely endangered white-rumped vulture and the endangered Indian vulture.

21. Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary

• One of the few places left where Dry Evergreen Forests used to be.

• Lives in dry evergreen forests, mangrove forests, and wetland areas.

22. Pong Dam Lake

• Maharana Pratap Sagar is another name for it.

• Pong Dam Lake is a water holding reservoir that was built in 1975 on the Beas River at the northern edge of the Indo-Gangetic plain. It is in the low foothills of the Himalayas, near the river’s mouth.

• The habitats for birds that the Pong Dam created are very important. Because the spot is on the trans-Himalayan flyway, more than 220 bird species and 54 waterfowl species have been found there.

• The animals include barking deer, sambar, wild boars, nilgai, leopards, and small-clawed oriental otters.

23. Renuka Lake

• A natural wetland with freshwater springs and underground karst forms in the middle of it.

24. Ropar Wetland

• A man-made swamp made up of a lake and a river. It was made when a barrage was built to divert water from the Sutlej River.

25. Rudrasagar Lake

• It is a lake fed by three streams that flow year-round and empty into the River Gomti.

• It is a great place for the Three-striped Roof Turtle, which is on the IUCN Red List.

26. Saman Bird Sanctuary

• The Ganges floodplain has a yearly oxbow lake there.

27. Samaspur Bird Sanctuary

• It is a wetland marsh that stays wet year-round and is typical of the Indo-Gangetic Plains.

• The Sanctuary is a home for rare species like the Egyptian vulture.

28. Sambhar Lake:

The Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s biggest inland saltwater lake, and tens of thousands of flamingos use it as a winter home.

The marsh is typical of the Indo-Gangetic plains.

29. Sandi Bird Sanctuary

The wetland is typical of the Indo-Gangetic plains.

30. Sarsai Nawar Jheel:

It is a permanent marsh. It is a place where people and animals live together. The name of the place comes from the big sarus crane, which doesn’t migrate.

31. Sasthamkotta Lake

It is the largest freshwater lake in Kerala. It is in the Kollam district. The river Kallada used to refill the lake through a bar of rice fields. This system has been destroyed, so the lake is now getting smaller.

32. Sundarban Wetland:

The Sundarban Wetland is in the largest mangrove forest in the world. It is the largest Ramsar Site in India. The Indian Sundarban, which is in the south-western part of the delta, has more than 60% of the country’s total mangrove forest area and 90% of its mangrove species.

33. The Surinsar-Mansar Lakes

Surinsar-Mansar Lakes are a freshwater lake that is part of the Jhelum Basin and is in the semi-arid Panjab Plains.

34. Tsomoriri (Tso Moriri):

Tso Moriri, also called “Mountain Lake” or “Lake Moriri,” is a lake in Ladakh’s Changthang Plateau, which means “northern plains.”

Changpa Tribes or Champa are semi-nomadic Tibetan people who live mostly in the Changtang in Ladakh and in Jammu and Kashmir.

The site is said to be the only place where one of the most endangered cranes, the Black-necked crane, can breed outside of China. It is also the only place where Bar-headed geese can breed in India.

• The Great Tibetan Sheep or Argali and the Tibetan Wild Ass are native to the area.

• Since there is no outflow, evaporation causes different levels of salinity in the arid steppe.

35. Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch):

The Ganges River Dolphin and Gharial Crocodile, which are both on the IUCN Red List, live in the river.

36. Vembanad-Kol Wetland

It is the largest lake in Kerala and stretches across Alappuzha, Kottayam, and Ernakulam districts. It is the second-largest Ramsar Site in India after Sundarbans. It is also the longest lake in India. It is below sea level and is known for its exotic fish and paddy fields that are below sea level. The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary is on the east side of the lake.

37. Wular Lake

Wular Lake is the largest freshwater lake in India. Its basin was made by tectonic action, and the Jhelum River brings water to it.At the mouth of Wular Lake, the Tulbul Project is a “navigation lock-cum-control structure”

38. Asan Conservation Reserve (ACR)

Asan Conservation Reserve (ACR) is a 444-hectare section of the Asan River in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand that runs down to where it meets the Yamuna River. It is the very first Ramsar Site in Uttarakhand.

 The Asan Barrage dammed up the River in 1967. This caused silt to build up above the dam wall, which helped make some of the bird-friendly areas at the Site.

There are 330 types of birds that live in these areas, including the red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis), and Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri), all of which are on the verge of extinction.

There are also 49 fish species that are not birds. One of these, the Putitora mahseer (Tor putitora), is a threatened species. Fish eat there, move through it, and lay their eggs there.

39. Kabartal Wetland

It covers 2,620 hectares of the Indo-Gangetic plains in the Begusarai district of Bihar. It is also called Kanwar Jheel.

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It protects the area from flooding and gives local people ways to make a living.

• There is a lot of variety in the area, with 165 plant species, 394 animal species, and 221 bird species recorded. It is also a good place for fish because it is home to more than 50 kinds.It is an important stop along the Central Asian Flyway, where 58 migratory waterbirds stop to rest and refuel.

• Five critically endangered species live there, including three vultures and two waterbirds. These are the red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), the white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis), and the Indian vulture (Gyps indicus).Water management actions like draining, taking water out of the ground, building dams, and making canals are some of the biggest threats to the Site.

40. Soor Sarovar Lake:

This lake is in the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, which was made a bird sanctuary in 1991. It is also called Keetham Lake.

Location: This lake is in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, next to the river Yamuna. The Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary is home to more than 165 kinds of migratory and resident birds. It also has a Bear Rescue centre for dancing bears that have been rescued.

41. Lonar Lake:

The Lonar lake is in the volcanic basalt rock of the Deccan Plateau. It was made when a rocket hit the area between 35,000 and 50,000 years ago.

The lake is part of the Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary, which is run by the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR). It is also called a Lonar crater and is a National Geo-heritage Monument. It is the second Ramsar site in Maharashtra after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in the Nashik district.

• It is the second Ramsar site in Maharashtra after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in the Nashik district.

• It is the second Ramsar site in Maharashtra after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in the Nashik district.The water in the lake is very salty and alkaline, and it has special creatures like anaerobes, Cyanobacteria, and phytoplankton.

Tso Kar Wetland Complex (Tso Kar Lake):

India’s 42nd Ramsar site, the Tso Kar Wetland Complex in Ladakh has been named a wetland of international interest. This is the Union Territory of Ladakh’s second Ramsar site. It is a complex of high-altitude wetlands that can be found in the Changthang area of Ladakh, more than 4,500 metres above sea level.

The Tso Kar Basin is a group of high-altitude wetlands made up of two main bodies of water: Startsapuk Tso and Tso Kar Lake. It is in the Changthang area of Ladakh.

Startsapuk Tso is a lake with fresh water, and Tso Kar is a lake with very salty water.

The name “TSO Kar” means “white lake,” and it comes from the white salt deposits that form on the edges of the wetlands when highly salty water evaporates.

• The TSO Kar basin is an A1 Category Important Bird Area (IBA) and a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.

• It is one of the most important breeding areas for the Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) in India.

• It is also a major stopover site for migr

Using the criteria, the Global Important Bird Areas are put into the following categories:

• A1: Species that are in danger all over the world. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species says that these places are home to bird populations that are Critically Endangered, Endangered, or Vulnerable.

• A2: Species with a limited range

• A3: Species That Can’t Live in a Biome

• A4: Places of Worship

43. Sultanpur National Park, Haryana

• The Sultanpur National Park, which used to be called the Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, is in the town of Sultanpur on the Gurugram-Jhajjar highway, about 15 kilometres from Gurugram, Haryana, and 50 kilometres from Delhi, India.

More than 10 globally vulnerable birds live here, including the critically endangered sociable lapwing and the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Saker Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, and Black-bellied Tern. It is a bird watcher’s paradise.

44. Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary

Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary is a man-made freshwater wetland in Jhajjar district, Haryana. It is an important part of the ecological corridor along the Sahibi River, which flows from the Aravalli hills in Rajasthan to the Yamuna. It shares a border with Khaparwas Wildlife Sanctuary, also in Haryana.

45. Thol Lake:

It is in Gujarat, in the state of Mehsana. It is a freshwater pond that is not very deep and is mostly open water. It is a man-made marsh that is on the Central Asian Flyway and is home to more than 320 different bird species.

• The wetland is home to more than 30 threatened waterbird species, including the highly endangered White-rumped Vulture and Sociable Lapwing and the vulnerable Sarus Crane, Common Pochard, and Lesser White-fronted Goose.

46. Wadhvana Wetland

It is in Dabhoi Tehsil (Taluka), which is in the Vadodara district of Gujarat. The lake is fed by the River Orsang, which joins the Narmada River at Chandod. During the winter, the red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), which is rare in Western India, is often seen here. It is internationally important for its birds because it is a wintering ground for migratory waterbirds.

47. Haiderpur Wetland

The Haiderpur Wetland covers 6908 hectares between the Ganges River and the Solani River on the border of Muzaffarnagar and Bijnor. It is part of the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary. The Haiderpur Wetland is a man-made lake that was made in 1984. Birds come here because there is a lot of life. Exotic birds fly over the hills of Mongolia to get here. There are also many kinds of dolphins, turtles, alligators, crocodiles, butterflies, deer, and so on. There are more than 30 kinds of plants, more than 300 kinds of birds, more than 40 kinds of fish, and more than 102 kinds of ducks.

48. Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary

• Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary (KBS) is a unique wetland environment in Jamnagar district, Gujarat state, on the southern coast of the Gulf of Kutch.

Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary (KBS) is one of Gujarat’s Important Bird Areas (IBA). On one side, it connects to Marine National Park, and on the other, the Dhunvav river dumps fresh water into it.

On one side of the sanctuary, there is fresh water, and on the other side, there are salt pans. On the northern side, there is a big creek that flows from the Gulf of Kutch. This helps plants and the variety of marine life.

• In the Sanctuary, there are two freshwater lakes made by a dam called a “reclamation dam.”

• Many migrating birds stop here in the winter.

• This sanctuary is a place where migratory birds can nest and raise their young.

• The refuge is at the point where the Ruparel and Kalindri rivers meet, which is on the north-east coast of the Jamnagar district in the Gulf of Kutch.

49. Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary:

In the Sant Kabir Nagar district of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, the Bakhira Bird Sanctuary is the biggest natural flood plain wetland in India.

In 1980, the shelter was set up. It is 44 km west of the city of Gorakhpur.

• The Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, also called Bakhira Tal, is a shallow-water marsh that connects to the Rapti River. It is to the west of the Rapti riverbank.

The wetland of Bakhira Tal is the biggest natural wetland in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is a permanent swamp that gets its water from rain and a branch of the Rapti River called the Ami River.

Aside from birds, the Sanctuary has many trees, shrubs, and plants that grow in water.

• During the winter, about 40,000 birds from about 30 types have been seen.

• It is a large body of water that covers an area of 29 square kilometres.

• The scenery and terrain of the wetland are almost flat, which is typical of the ‘Terai’The sanctuary is called Bakhira after the town that is near the lake.

50. Karikili Bird reserve (Tamil Nadu):

The reserve is five kilometres wide and is home to cormorants, egrets, grey herons, open-billed storks, darters, spoonbills, white ibis, night herons, grebes, grey pelicans, and more.

51. Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest (Tamil Nadu):

The marsh is one of the few natural coastal aquatic habitats that count as a wetland in India. It drains a 250-square-kilometer area with 65 wetlands.

52. Pichavaram Mangrove (Tamil Nadu):

• One of the country’s last mangrove forests

•It has an island in the middle of a large body of water with mangrove trees on it.

53. Sakhya Sagar (Madhya Pradesh):

This lake was made by the river Manier in 1918. It is near Madhav National Park.

54. Pala Wetland in Mizoram (Mizoram):

• It is home to a wide range of animals, birds, and reptiles.

• Its location in the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot means it has a lot of animal and plant species.

• The lake is an important part of the Palak Wildlife Sanctuary, and it supports most of the sanctuary’s wildlife.

55. The Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary

Koothankulam Bird Sanctuary is next to the small village of Koonthankulam in the Tamil Nadu state of Tirunelveli. It is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) on the Central Asian Flyway. This is South India’s biggest place where water birds can nest.

56. Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve:

The Gulf of Mannar is a big, shallow bay in the Indian Ocean that is part of the Laccadive Sea and has an average depth of 5.8 metres. In the Coromandel Coast area, it is between the southeastern tip of India and the west coast of Sri Lanka. The Gulf of Mannar is one of the most biologically rich coastal areas on the Indian mainland. The Marine Biosphere Reserve is the first one in South and South East Asia.

• One of India’s four major coral reef areas is the Gulf of Mannar region in Tamil Nadu. The other three are the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, Lakhsadweep, and the Andaman and Nicobar islands.

There are three different types of coastal ecosystems in the Gulf of Mannar. These three ecosystems are the coral reef, the seagrass bed, and the mangroves. The mangroves are the world’s richest region in terms of marine biodiversity, and they are known for their unique biological wealth.

57. Vembannur Wetland Complex

The southernmost point of peninsular India is the Vembannur Wetland Complex, which is a man-made interior tank. This wetland is part of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area, so it is also part of the BirdLife International Data Zone.

58. Vellode Bird refuge:

The Vellode Birds Sanctuary is an 80-hectare refuge in Tamil Nadu’s Erode District.

• This man-made tank is a great place for birds and other water animals to live because it has a lot of food from the nearby fields of crops.

59. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary

Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary is a 30-hectare protected area in the Madurantakam taluk of the Chengalpattu District in the state of Tamil Nadu. The sanctuary is about 75 kilometres from Chennai on National Highway 45. Vedanthangal is the oldest water bird sanctuary in the country.

In Tamil, the name Vedanthangal means “the village of the hunter.”

60. Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary

Udayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary is a protected area in Tiruvarur District, Tamil Nadu. During the months of February and March, the sanctuary is home to a large number of purple moorhens and openbill storks. The Sanctuary is made up of irrigation tanks that are connected by an old network of canals and fed by the Mettur dam through the Koraiyar canal.

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61. Satkosia Gorge (Odisha):

The Mahanadi River cut out the Satkosia Gorge in eastern Odisha. The gorge is in the Satkosia Tiger Reserve, which is a protected area by the UN.

62. Nanda Lake (Goa):

Nanda Lake is made up of freshwater marshes that are next to one of the major tributaries of the Zuari River. The marshes are connected to the river channel by a sluice gate that, when closed, allows the marshes to flood. This wetland is home to many important plants and animals, including migratory waterbirds.

• Notable bird species include the black-headed ibis, common kingfisher, wire-tailed swallow, bronze-winged jacana, brahminy kite, intermediate egret, little cormorant, and lesser whistling duck. • The Site allows local communities to store water during the non-monsoon season, grow rice paddies downstream of the lake, fish, and have fun. Downstream areas are also protected from monsoon rains by the lake. Threats include invasive non-native species, trash and solid waste, overfishing, and taking aquatic resources.

63. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary (Karnataka):

The Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary is on the Southern Deccan Plateau. It is part of the Kaveri River.

This area is made up of gently rolling plains that are crossed by several large rivers that start in the Western Ghats mountain range and flow east to the Bay of Bengal.

• The Site is an ecologically important riverine wetland with a lot of plant and animal species.

• It has healthy populations of mugger crocodiles, smooth-coated otters, and hump-backed mahseer.

• The Site is an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) because it is home to more than 1% of the world’s painted storks, spot-billed pelicans, and black-headed ibis.

• The Site is an Eco-Sensitive Zone, and a management plan is being put into place to protect its ecological integrity and the ecosystem services it gives to the nearby towns.

64. Sirpur Wetland (Madhya Pradesh):

• Sirpur Wetland is a man-made wetland that has stabilised and become almost natural over the last two centuries.

• Sirpur Lake is on the Indore-Dhar Road in Indore.

• The Site is a shallow, alkaline, nutrient-rich lake that floods during the monsoon to a maximum depth of two metres.

65. Tampara Lake

Tampara Lake is one of the most famous freshwater lakes in the state of Odisha. It is in the Ganjam region. The depression on the ground slowly filled with rainwater from catchment flow. The British called it “Tamp,” and the locals later called it “Tampra.”

• The marsh is important for endangered species like Cyprinus carpio, the common pochard (Aythya ferina), and the river tern (Sterna aurantia).

66. Hirakud Reservoir:

Hirakud Reservoir The Hirakud Reservoir has been in use since 1957. It is the biggest earthen dam in Odisha.

The water from the reservoir is used to make around 300 MW of hydropower and to water 436,000 ha of cultural command area. The wetland also provides important hydrological services by reducing floods in the Mahanadi delta, which is the ecological and economic centre of India’s east coast.

67. Ansupa Lake

Ansupa Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Odisha. It is in the Banki sub-division of Cuttack district and has been known for a long time for its beauty, biodiversity, and natural resources. It is an oxbow lake formed by the River Mahanadi and covers an area of 231 ha. It is home to at least three threatened bird species: the Rynchops albicollis (EN), Sterna acuticauda (EN), and Stern

68. Yashwant Sagar:

Yashwant Sagar is one of the two Important Bird Areas (IBA) in the Indore area and one of the most important birding sites in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. It is mostly used to supply water to the city of Indore and is also used for commercial fish farming.

Most of the land around this wetland is used for farming. In central India, Yashwant Sagar is known as a refuge for the endangered Sarus Crane. The backwaters of the lake have a lot of shallow spots where waders and other birds can live.

69. Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary

It is also called “Chitrangudi Kanmoli” by the locals, is in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The wetland has been a protected area since 1989, when it was declared a Bird Sanctuary by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department’s Ramanathapuram division. The Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary is a great place for winter-migrating birds to stay. Around Chitrangudi are fields where different crops are grown at different times of the year.

70. Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex:

The Suchindrum-Theroor Manakudi Conservation Reserve includes the Suchindrum-Theroor Theroor Wetland Complex.It has been named an Important Bird Area and is at the southern end of the Central Asian flyway for migrating birds. It was made so birds could nest there, and every year, thousands of birds come to visit.

• Copper plates with writing from the 9th century name Pasumkulam, Venchikulam, Nedumarthukulam, Perumkulam, Elemchikulam, and Konadunkulam.

71. Vaduvur Bird Sanctuary:

The Vaduvur bird sanctuary covers an area of 112.638 ha. It is a big irrigation tank made by humans and a home for migratory birds because it has food, shelter, and a place to breed.

72. Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary

It is a protected area near Mudukulathur, Ramanathapuram District, Tamil Nadu, India. It was named a protected area in 1989. It is known for being a nesting site for many migratory heron species, which roost in the large number of babul trees there.

The breeding population of migratory waterbirds, such as the painted stork, white ibis, black ibis, little egret, and great egret, comes here between October and February. The site is an Important Bird Area (IBA) because the endangered Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis breeds here.

• The wetland exhibits rich biodiversity including many globally near-threatened species like Spot-billed Pelican, Oriental Darter, Oriental white Ibis and Painted Stork and also commonly occurring shore and water birds like greenshank, plovers, stilts and forest birds like bee-eaters, bulbuls, cuckoos, starlings, barbets, etc. • They act as breeding, nesting, roosting, foraging, and stopover sites for the birds.

• The swamp is home to endangered bird species like Sterna aurantia (River Tern) that are on the IUCN RedList.

73. Thane Creek

Thane Creek is in the Indian state of Maharashtra. The Ulhas River is the biggest source of fresh water for the creek, followed by many drainage channels from the suburbs of Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, and Thane.

It has been named the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. On both sides of the creek are mangroves, which make up about 20% of all Indian mangrove species. The area is an important part of the Central Asian Flyway of birds and has been named an Important Bird Area (IBA).

74. Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve:

• The wetland is in the Baramulla district.

• It is part of the River Jhelum basin and plays an important role as a flood absorption basin, biodiversity conservation site, eco-tourism site, and source of income security for the local people. It is also a place that is important for birds (IBA).

• Because of the high rate of siltation, Hygam Wetland has lost a lot of its wetland traits and changed into a landmass in many places.

75. Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve:

The Shallabug Wetland Conservation Reserve is in the District of Srinagar in the UT of J&K.

Large parts of the wetland dry up between September and March. The area has a lot of Phragmites communis and Typha angustata reedbeds and a lot of Nymphaea candida and N. stellata growth on open water. It is home to more than 4 lakh resident and migratory birds of at least 21 species.

Criteria for Identification of Wetlands under Ramsar Convention

If a wetland

• It has a type of natural or nearly natural wetland that is symbolic, rare, or unique.

• It helps species that are fragile, endangered, or in danger of going extinct, or threatened ecological communities.

• It helps keep alive groups of plant and/or animal species that are important for keeping a biogeographic region’s biological diversity.

• It helps plants and/or animals at a crucial time in their life cycles or gives them a place to live when things are bad.

• It is a daily home for at least 20,000 water birds.

• It is home to at least 1% of one species or subspecies of water birds on a daily basis.

• It is home to a large number of native fish types.

• is an important source of food and water for fish, as well as a breeding ground, nursery, or migration route.

• is an important source of food and water for fish, as well as a place where fish can lay their eggs, raise their young, or move to a new area.

Wetlands International

It is a global non-governmental organisation (NGO) that works to protect and restore wetlands and their resources for people and biodiversity. It does this through research, advocacy, and engagement with governments, corporations, and international policy forums and conventions.

National Wetlands Conservation Programme (NWCP):

• NWCP was started in 1985–86.

• As part of the programme, the MoEF has found 115 wetland areas that need immediate help with conservation and management.

• The same rules are used by the NWCP and the Ramsar Convention on marshes to decide which marshes are of national importance.

The Central Government is in charge of coordinating all wetland conservation programmes. It also gives the state governments guidelines, money, and expert help.

• The State Governments and the UT Administration are in charge of managing marshes because the land resources belong to them.

Goal:

To protect wetlands so they don’t get worse and to make sure they are used in a way that helps local people and protects biodiversity as a whole.

Objectives

• to set policy rules for protecting and managing wetland areas.

• To help with money so that intensive conservation steps can be taken.

• to keep an eye on how the plan is put into action.

• to make a list of all the Indian lakes.

Provisions of the Wetland Conservation and Management Rules of 2017

The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, say what can and can’t be done with wetlands. In the Rules from 2010, there was a Central Wetland Regulatory Authority. In the Rules from 2017, it was replaced by groups at the state level, and a National Wetland Committee was set up to give advice.

Some backwaters, lagoons, creeks, and estuaries were taken out of the meaning of “wetlands” in the newer rules. Under the 2017 rules, it is up to the States to figure out how to find the protected areas.

• Wetlands in the state’s constitution: It says that a State Wetland Authority (SWA) can be set up in every state and Union Territory. The Environment Minister of each state will be in charge of the SWA. There will be a wide range of government leaders there. Each area (hydrology, socioeconomics, landscape planning, fisheries, and wetland ecology) was represented by an expert. They will decide what the “wise use principle” is that will be used to run waterways. “Wise use” means using things in a way that is good for them and doesn’t hurt the environment. Because of this, power has been spread out. The SWA must do the following: Make a complete list of activities that must be controlled and allowed in wetlands that have been reported and in their zone of influence.

Recommend more things that shouldn’t be done in certain areas.

Set up plans for making better use of waterways.

Recommend steps that can be taken to protect wetlands and make partners and local communities more aware of how important wetlands are.

Setting up the National Wetland Committee: The NWC will replace the Central Wetlands Regulatory Authority, and the secretary to MoEFCC will be in charge of it.

National Wetland Committee (NWC):

• Making sure that rules are followed

• Giving advice to the central government on the best policies and action plans for protecting waterways and using them in a smart way.

• Suggesting that the Ramsar Convention’s Wetlands of International Importance be named as such.

• Give advice on how international organisations can work together on problems related to wetlands.

• Making a digital inventory: All state governments are required to make a list of all the waterways. Using this information, a digital map of wetland areas will be made and updated every 10 years.

• Activities that aren’t allowed: The rules say that villages, towns, cities, businesses, and other places can’t dump trash or solid waste into the wetlands. Wetland areas can’t be used for things other than wetlands, and permanent buildings can’t be built on wetlands that have been informed.

These rules apply to wetlands that have been reported by the State government, the Central government, or the Union territory administrations. They also apply to wetlands that the Ramsar convention says are of international importance.