Recently, Buldhana district’s Lonar lake has been declared a Ramsar site, a conservation status conferred by International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
- It has been declared as the 41st place in the country and the second ‘Ramsar site’ in Maharashtra.
About Lonar Lake
- The lake is part of Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary.
- It is the second Ramsar site in the state after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in Nashik district, which was declared a Ramsar site in January.
- The Lonar lake, situated in the Deccan Plateau’s volcanic basalt rock, was created by the impact of a meteor 35,000 to 50,000 years ago. is an endorheic or closed basin, almost circular in shape, formed by a meteorite impact onto the basalt bedrock.
- The site includes the lake as well as escarpments, which form the crater walls, and forested zones.
- The water in the lake is highly saline and alkaline, containing special microorganisms like anaerobes, Cyanobacteria and phytoplankton. The site also has 160 bird, 46 reptile and 12 mammal species.
- It was identified as a unique geographical site by a British officer CJE Alexander in 1823, and declared a notified National Geo-heritage Monument in 1979.
- Lonar wildlife sanctuary falls under the unified control of the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR), Amravati.
Benefits being a Ramsar Site
- The Ramsar status enhances protection for rare and endemic species, facilitates the development through national level policies, provides access to financial aid through the convention’s small grant fund, and allows access to expert advice on site related problems of this wetland.
- Lonar and Nandur Madhmeshwar bring India’s tally of Ramsar sites to 41.
- In 1981, Chilika Lake was designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
- Uttar Pradesh has the most number of Ramsar Sites in India. It has 7 Indian Wetlands.
- The Indian side of the Sunderbans has received the prestigious ‘Wetlands of International Importance’ tag under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, making it the largest protected wetland in the country.
- Keoladeo National Park(Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Keibul Lamjao National Park) are Indian Sites under Montreux Record.
About Ramsar Convention
- The convention on wetlands of international importance (i.e. Ramsar Convention) is an international treaty that provides for international cooperation for the conservation of wetlands.
- It was signed on February 2, 1971, at Ramsar in Iran.
- A Ramsar site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance.
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