Four new Ramsar sites recognized in India
Four new Ramsar sites recognized in India i.e. two each from Haryana and Gujarat – have been recognised as wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, taking the number of such sites in the country to 46, the Union Environment Ministry said on Saturday.
According to the Ministry, for the first time, two wetlands in Haryana – Sultanpur National Park in Gurgaon and Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary in Jhajjar – have been included in the Ramsar list.
About the Four new Ramsar sites recognized in India
- Haryana’s Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary is a human-made freshwater wetland. It is also the largest in Haryana. Over 250 bird species use the sanctuary throughout the year as a resting and roosting site.
- The site supports more than 10 globally threatened species including the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, and Black-bellied Tern.
- The Sultanpur National Park in Haryana supports more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory waterbirds at critical stages of their life cycles.
- More than 10 of these are globally threatened, including the critically endangered sociable lapwing, and the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Saker Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Black-bellied Tern.
- The Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat lies on the Central Asian Flyway and more than 320 bird species can be found here.
- The wetland supports more than 30 threatened waterbird species, such as the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture and Sociable Lapwing, and the vulnerable Sarus Crane, Common Pochard and Lesser White-fronted Goose.
- The Wadhvana Wetland in Gujarat is internationally important for its birdlife as it provides wintering ground to migratory waterbirds, including over 80 species that migrate on the Central Asian Flyway.
- They include some threatened or near-threatened species such as the endangered Pallas’s fish-Eagle, the vulnerable Common Pochard, and the near-threatened Dalmatian Pelican, Grey-headed Fish-eagle and Ferruginous Duck.
Back to Basics
- The Ramsar Convention is an international treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. It is named after the Iranian city of Ramsar, on the Caspian Sea, where the treaty was signed on February 2, 1971.
- The aim of the Ramsar list is “to develop and maintain an international network of wetlands which are important for the conservation of global biological diversity and for sustaining human life through the maintenance of their ecosystem components, processes and benefits”.
- The 46 Ramsar sites in India include the Chilika Lake in Odisha, Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan, Harike Lake in Punjab, Loktak Lake in Manipur and Wular Lake in Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Ramsar sites are maintained in Montreux Record to track any major ecological changes that might affect any of the wetland sites positively or in a reverse way.
- The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring, or are likely to occur as a result of technological developments, pollution, or other human interference. It is maintained as part of the Ramsar List.
- At present, two wetlands of India are in Montreux Record:
- Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and
- Loktak Lake (Manipur).
- Note: Chilika Lake (Odisha) was placed in the record but was later removed from it.
- There are currently over 2,400 Ramsar Sites on the territories of 171 Ramsar Contracting Parties across the world. They cover over 2.5 million square kilometers, an area larger than Mexico.
- India is a party to the Ramsar Convention.
- India signed under it on 1st February 1982.
- Chilika Lake is the largest Ramsar Site of India
- Chilika Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) were recognized as the first Ramsar Sites of India
- World’s First Ramsar site was identified in 1974, which was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia.
For Updated Ramsar Sites in India UPSC : Click Here