Ramsar Sites in India UPSC 

Context

  • As defined by Ramsar convention 1971, “Wetlands are area of marsh, fen, peat-land or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water, the depth of which at low tide does not exceed six meters”
  • Wetlands shares only 0.0001% of the total fresh water available occupying 6.45% of the earth’s surface.
  • The wetlands act as buffers for terrestrial run-off and thus prevent eutrophication of inlands and coastal waters.
  • The Convention on Wetlands is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. As of now there are 171 Contracting Parties on the convention on wetlands.
  • Since India became a contracting party to the Ramsar convention in 1981 India has a total of 42 Ramsar sites
  • Nodal Agency: Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC)
  • Wetlands in India are grouped on the basis of topographical variation into four major types- 1) Himalayan wetlands, 2) wetlands in Gangetic plain, 3) wetlands in the desert and 4) coastal wetlands.
  • Moreover, many wetlands in rural and sub-urban areas are not covered either by the Indian Forest Act 1927 or Wild Life Protection Act 1972. These wetlands are under threat in many ways and therefore invite due attention for their conservation and management. Towards this, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), Government of India launched a Wetland Conservation Programme all over the country.
  • 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).
  • NoteChilika 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.

Ramsar Sites in India

  • As of August 2021 there are 46 Ramsar Sites in India.

Ramsar sites in India UPSC (Updated till August-2021)

  1. ASHTAMUDI WETLAND
  • It is a natural backwater in the Kollam district.
  • River Kallada and Pallichal drain into it.
  • It forms an estuary with Sea at Neendakara (a famous fishing harbor in Kerala).
  • National Waterway 3 passes through it.
  • Kanjiracode creek on the south-east end of the lake.
  • State-Kerala
  1. BEAS CONSERVATION RESERVE
  • It is a 185-kilometer stretch of the Beas River.
  • The stretch is dotted with islands, sand bars, and braided channels.
  • The Reserve hosts the only known population in India of the endangered Indus river dolphin.
  • In 2017, a program was initiated to re-introduce the critically endangered gharial.
  • Himalayan foothills to the Harike Headworks.
  • State-Punjab
  1. BHITARKANIKA MANGROVES
  • It is part of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • The core area of the sanctuary was declared Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary is adjacent to the Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • It is famous for its saltwater crocodilesand Olive ridley sea turtle.
  • The core area of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was declared Bhitarkanika National Park.
  • Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary includes Gahirmatha Marine Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • Bhitarkanika Mangroves, a part of Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary was designated a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance in 2002.
  • It is famous for its saltwater crocodiles and Olive ridley sea turtle.
  • River Delta- Brahmaniand Baitarani
  • State-Odisha
  1. BHOJ WETLAND
  • The Wetland consists of two lakes located in the city of Bhopal.
  • The two lakes are the Bhojtal and the Lower Lake.
  • It is a humanmade reservoir.
  • The largest bird of India, the sarus crane is found here.
  • State-Madhya Pradesh
  1. CHANDRA TAAL
  • It is a high-altitude lake on the upper Chandra valley flowing to the Chenab River of the Western Himalayas (4,337 m asl) near the Kunzam pass joining the Himalayan and Pir Panjal ranges
  • It supports IUCN Red-listed Snow Leopard.
  • Migratory species-Ruddy shelduck
  • Also known as Tso Chikgma
  • Lake in the Lahaulpart of the Lahul and Spiti district
  • Kunzum La separates Lahaul and Spiti valleys.
  • State-Himachal Pradesh
  1. CHILIKA LAKE
  • It is a brackish water lagoon at the mouth of the Daya River.
  • It is the largest coastal lagoon in India.
  • Largest brackish water lagoon in the world after The New Caledonian barrier reef
  • Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea, and other remote parts of Central Asia, Ladakh, and the Himalayas come here.
  • In 1981, Chilika Lake has designated the first Indian wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • Nalbana Bird Sanctuary is the core area of the Ramsar designated wetlands of Chilika Lake.
  • The Irrawaddy dolphin(critically endangered) is the flagship species and the only known population in Chilika lake.
  • Mouth of the Daya River
  • Chilka is home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in India.
  • State-Odisha
  1. DEEPOR BEEL
  • A permanent freshwater lake in a former channel of the Brahmaputra river.
  • It is a few kilometers to the left of Guwahati whereas Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is around 35 km to the right.
  • Basistha and Kalmani rivers and local monsoon run-off are the main sources of water
  • BirdLife Internationalhas declared Deepor Beel as an Important Bird Area (IBA)
  • Siberian crane(Grus leucogeranus) regularly migrates to this habitat during its annual journey
  • State-Assam
  1. EAST KOLKATA WETLANDS
  • It is multiple use wetland that serves the city of Kolkata.
  • Host the largest sewage fed aquaculture in the world
  • Numerous species of fish are farmed in the sewage fed ponds called bheris
  • Microbial Diversity is an integral part of biodiversity which includes bacteria, archaea, fungi, algae, protozoa and protists
  • State-West Bengal
  1. HARIKE WETLAND
  • It is a shallow water reservoir at the confluence of Beas and Sutlej rivers.
  • Largest wetland in northern India in the border of Tarn Taran Sahib district and Ferozepur district
  • Stated to be next only to the Keoladeo National Parknear Bharatpur
  • Indus dolphin was recently sighted in the Beas River
  • State-Punjab
  1. HOKERA WETLAND
  • It is only 10 km from Srinagar.
  • It is a natural perennial wetland contiguous to the Jhelum basin.
  • Lies in the Kashmir Valley
  • The waterbirds fly to Kashmir Valley via the Central Asian Flyway.
  • 1st designated as a conservation reserve under the Jammu and Kashmir
  • Falls under India’s National Wetlands Conservation Programme and is also included in the network of Important Bird Areas
  • Union Territory-Jammu and Kashmir
  1. KANJLI WETLAND
  • Manmade Wetland
  • Located in the Kapurthala district of Punjab
  • Created in 1870 by constructing the headworks across the perennial Bien River, a tributary of the Beas Riverto provide irrigation facilities to the hinterland.
  • Upstream of Harike wetland located in the Beas river basin while the Ropar wetland is in the Roopnagar district
  • The stream is considered to be the most significant in the state from the religious point of view, as it is associated with the first guru of the Sikhs, Shri Guru Nanak.
  • State-Punjab
  1. KEOLADEO NATIONAL PARK
  • complex of ten artificial, seasonal lagoons, varying in size.
  • Formerly known as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary
  • Vegetation is a mosaic of scrub and open grassland that provides habitat for breeding, wintering, and staging migratory birds.
  • A World Heritage Site
  • The invasive growth of the grass Paspalum distichum has changed the ecological character of large areas of the site, reducing its suitability for certain waterbird species, notably the Siberian crane.
  • Keoladeo Ghana National Park is a man-made and man-managed wetland and one of the national parks of India
  • The principal vegetation types are tropical dry deciduous forests intermixed with dry grasslands.
  • Scrublands are dominated by ber and kair
  • Placed on the Montreux Record in 1990 due to “water shortage and an unbalanced grazing regime”.
  • State-Rajasthan
  1. KESHOPUR-MIANI COMMUNITY RESERVE
  • The Site is an example of wise use of a community-managed wetland, which provides food for people and supports local biodiversity.
  • Threatened species present include the vulnerable common pochard (Aythya ferina) and the endangered spotted pond turtle.
  • 1st-ever notified community reserve of India under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 (amended 2002).
  • Shalapattan wetland-home to sarus /common crane
  • State-Punjab
  1. KOLLERU LAKE
  • A natural eutrophic lake situated between the river basins of the Godavari and the Krishna in Andhra Pradesh.
    • A eutrophic water body, commonly a lake or pond, has high biological productivity. Due to excessive nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus, these water bodies are able to support an abundance of aquatic plants. Usually, the water body will be dominated either by aquatic plants or algae.
  • The lake serves as a natural flood-balancing reservoirfor the two rivers.
  • It was previously a lagoon, but now it is several kilometers inland due to the coastline of emergence and delta formation.
  • Forms the largest shallow freshwater lake in Asia
  • It was notified as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1999 under India’s Wild Life Protection Act,1972.
  • It was declared a wetland of international importance in 2002under the Ramsar convention.
  • The Atapaka Bird Sanctuary at Kolleru Lakehas become a safe breeding ground for two migratory species namely, Grey Pelicans and Painted Storks.
  • The present water level in Kolleru Lake, including Atapaka Sanctuary, is posing a slight challenge for the birds to hunt their prey in the deep waters.
  • Grey Pelican and Painted Stork both are near-threatened species under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  • State-Andhra Pradesh
  1. LOKTAK LAKE
  • Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in the north-eastern region of the country.
  • Keibul Lamjao the only floating national park in the world floats over it.
    • Keibul Lamjao -Last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer
  • Famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matters at various stages of decomposition) floating over it
  • Also listed under the Montreux Record.
  • Manipur River flows through the Manipur Valley.
  • It is located near Moirang, Bishnupur district. 
  • Species of hornbills found are the brown-backed hornbill, rufous-necked hornbill, wreathed hornbill, the pied hornbill and the great pied hornbill.
  • At the highest level of eutrophication and the only brow-antlered deer is at the verge of extinction.
  • State-Manipur
  1. NALSAROVAR BIRD SANCTUARY
  • A natural freshwater lake (a relict sea) that is the largest natural wetland in the Thar Desert.
  • The wetland is a lifeline for a satellite population of the endangered Indian Wild Ass.
  • An important stopover site within the Central Asian Flyway
  • Species- critically endangered sociable lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) and the vulnerable marbled teal (Marmaronetta angustirostris) stopping over at the site during migration, while the vulnerable sarus crane
  • Migrating Aamin bhai shepherds populate the islands of the lake and on the banks are the Padhars, who are folk dancers
  • State-Gujarat
  1. NANDUR MADHAMESHWAR
  • Construction of the Nandur Madhameshwar Weir at the confluence of the Godavari and Kadwa Rivers helped create a thriving wetland.
  • Located at Niphad Tehsil of Nashik District
  • Maharashtra’s first Ramsar site and known as Maharashtra ‘s Bharatpur
  • Boasts of threatened plants like Indian sandalwood, threatened birds like Indian Spotted Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Common Pochard, Bristled Grass Bird, Wooly-necked stork, White-rumped vulture, Indian vulture and Egyptian vulture, threatened fish Deolali Minnow and mammal like leopard.
  • More than one percent population of Common Pochard, White Stork, Common Crane, Eurashian Spoonbill and Glosdy Ibis bird species. Among fish, the wetland has Butter cat fish, Deolali minnow, Slender rasbora, Novacula razorbelly minnow and globally threatened species Shalini barb.
  • formed by shallow backwaters
  • State-Maharashtra
  1. NANGAL WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
  • Located in the Shiwalik foothills of Punjab.
  • It supports abundant flora and fauna including threatened species, such as the endangered Indian pangolin and Egyptian vulture.
  • It occupies a human-made reservoir constructed as part of the Bhakra-Nangal Project in 1961.
  • The site is of historic importance as the Indian and Chinese Prime Ministers formalized the “Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence” there in 1954.
  • noticed lesser number of shallow water birds and surprisingly one lone long distance migratory and International Union Conservation Nature (IUCN) listed threatened water bird Ferruginous Duck which migrates from North Asia
  • nesting colony of the other resident water bird species as Little Cormorants, Purple Herons, Cattle Egrets, Black-crowned Night Herons, Little Egrets.
  • State-Punjab
  1. NAWABGANJ BIRD SANCTUARY
  • It was renamed as Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary in 2015.
  • bird sanctuary located in Unnao district on the Kanpur-Lucknow highway
  • houses a deer park, watchtowers and boats.
  • shallow marshland
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. PARVATI ARGA BIRD SANCTUARY
  • It is a permanent freshwater environment consisting of two oxbow lakes.
  • The Sanctuary is a refuge for some of India’s threatened vulture species: the critically endangered white-rumped vulture and Indian vulture and the endangered Egyptian vulture
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. POINT CALIMERE WILDLIFE AND BIRD SANCTUARY
  • One of the last remnants of Dry Evergreen Forests.
  • low headland of the Coromandel Coast, in the Nagapattinam district
  • holds large wintering populations of greater flamingos and blackbucks
  • migratory waterbirds-Spot-billed Pelican and Spoon-billed Sandpiper
  • Habitat: Dry Evergreen Forests, Mangrove & Wetlands.
  • Microbial indicators such as coliform bacteria were also found
  • State-Tamil Nadu
  1. PONG DAM LAKE
  • It is also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar.
  • Pong Dam Lake is a water storage reservoir created in 1975 on the Beas River (five major rivers of the Indusbasin) in the low foothills of the Himalaya on the northern edge of the Indo-Gangetic plain.
  • covered with tropical and subtropical forests
  • Wetland zone of the Siwalik Hillsof the Dehra Gopipur Division Kangra district 
  • Black-headed gulls, Red necked grebes, plovers, terns, ducks, water-fowl egrets
  • The avian habitats formed by the creation of the Pong Dam assumes a great significance – given the site’s location on the trans-Himalayan flyway, more than220 bird species have been identified, with 54 species of waterfowl.
  • State-Himachal Pradesh
  1. RENUKA LAKE
  • natural wetland with freshwater springs and inland subterranean karst formations.
  • Situated in Sirmour district 
  • Largest lake in Himachal Pradesh
  • Falls in the biogeographical zone IV and biogeographical province IV as per the classification done by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII)
  • sambar, barking deer and ghorals are also abundant
  • Dry mixed deciduous forest and group 5/051, i.e., dry sal forest
  • State-Himachal Pradesh
  1. ROPAR WETLAND
  • human-made wetland of lake and river formed by the construction of a barrage for diversion of water from the Sutlej River.
  • Man-made freshwater riverine and lacustrine wetland
  • located in the Shivalik foothills of the Lower Himalayas
  • endangered turtleChitra indica and the threatened snake Python molurus (“at lower risk”), as per IUCN Red List, are reported
  • modern history in respect of Anglo – Sikh relations
  • State-Punjab
  1. RUDRASAGAR LAKE
  • It is a reservoir fed by three perennial streams discharging to the River Gomti.
  • It is an ideal habitat for IUCN Red-listed Three-striped Roof Turtle.
  • Known as Twijilikma, is a lakelocated in Melaghar
  • Natural sedimentation reservoir, which receives flow from three perennial streams namely, Noacherra, Durlavnaraya cherra and Kemtali cherra
  • Potential Important Bird Area and attracts a large number of waterfowl in winter
  • Rarer species recorded are the endangered Baer’s pochard and near-threatened ferruginous duck
  • State-Tripura
  1. SAMAN BIRD SANCTUARY
  • It is a seasonal oxbow lake on the Ganges floodplain.
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. SAMASPUR BIRD SANCTUARY
  • It is a perennial lowland marsh typical of the Indo-Gangetic Plains.
  • The Sanctuary harbours threatened species such as the endangered Egyptian vulture.
  • Local birds include Knob-billed Duck, Lesser Whistling-duck, Indian Spot-billed Duck, Eurasian Spoon-bill, Kingfishers, Vulturesetc
  • Situated near Salon in Rae Bareli
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. SAMBHAR LAKE
  • The Sambhar Salt Lake isIndia’s largest inland saltwater lake.
  • It is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of flamingos.
  • Receives water from five rivers: Medtha, Samaod, Mantha, Rupangarh, Khari, and Khandela. 
  • Surrounded by the Aravali hillson all sides
  • State-Rajasthan
  1. SANDI BIRD SANCTUARY
  • The wetland is typical of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
  • Freshwater marsh in the Hardoi district
  • River Garra, formerly known as Garun Ganga, passes near the sanctuary
  • Rare Siberian white craneGrus leucogeranus has been seen here
  • Ancient name as “Dahar Jheel”
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. SARSAI NAWAR JHEEL
  • A permanent marsh in the Etawah district
  • An example of co-habitation of humans and wildlife.
  • Typical wetland of the Indo-Gangetic Plain is fed by the southwest monsoon rains
  • Recognized by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area
  • The site’s name is derived from the large non-migratory sarus crane.
  • Threatened species present include the critically endangered white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and endangered woolly-necked stork
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. SASTHAMKOTTA LAKE
  • Largest freshwater lake in Kerala, situated in Kollam district.
  • River Kallada had a unique replenishing system through a bar of paddy field.
  • The lake is now depleting due to destruction of replenishing mechanism.
  • Presence of large population of larva called cavaborus that consumes bacteria
  • State-Kerala
  1. SUNDARBAN WETLAND
  • Largest mangrove forest in the world.
  • It is the largest Ramsar Site in India.
  • Delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges,Brahmaputra and Meghna Rivers in the Bay of Bengal.
  • The Indian Sundarban, covering the south-westernmost part of the delta, constitutes over 60% of the country’s total mangrove forest area and includes 90% of Indian mangrove species.
  • Spans from the Hooghly River in India’s state of West Bengal to the Baleswar River in Bangladesh
  • Derived from the word Sundari or Sundri, the local name of the mangrove species Heritiera fomes.
  • Important habitat for the Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
  • Sajnekhali Bird Sanctuary is a part of Sundarban
  • Mousuni Island
  • Shrines to Bon Bibi and her twin brother Shah Jongoli dot the landscape of the Sundarbans.
  • The estuarine crocodile is found in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands.
  • Sundarban National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve
  • Sundarbans West Wildlife Sanctuary is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • State-West Bengal
  1. SURINSAR-MANSAR LAKES
  • Freshwater composite lake in semi-arid Panjab Plains, adjoining the Jhelum Basin.
  • A lake fringed by forest-covered hills
  • Supports CITES and IUCN redlisted Lissemys punctuataAspideretes gangeticus and Mansariella lacustris.
  • High in micro nutrients for which it is an attractive habitat, breeding and nursey ground for migratory waterfolks like Fulica atra, Gallinula chloropus, Podiceps nigricollis, Aythya fuligula and various Anas species
  • Waterfowl like the Eurasian coot (Fulica atra), common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus), black-necked grebe (Podiceps nigricollis), tufted duck (Aythya fuligula), and various Anas species.
  • State-Jammu and Kashmir
  1. TSOMORIRI (TSO MORIRI)
  • freshwater to brackish lake lying at 4,595m above sea level.
  • “Mountain Lake”, is a lake in the Changthang
    • The Changthang Plateau in the eastern Ladakh represents a landscape of low productive ecosystems which protects unique floral and faunal species. 
  • The site is said to represent the only breeding ground outside of China for one of the most endangered cranes, the Black-necked crane, and the only breeding ground for Bar-headed geese in India.
  • The Great Tibetan Sheep or Argali and Tibetan Wild Ass are endemic to the region.
  • Represent the only breeding ground outside of China for one of the most endangered cranes, the Black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis), and the only breeding ground for Bar-headed geese in India. The Great Tibetan Sheep or Argali (Ovis ammon hodgsoni) and Tibetan Wild Ass (Equus kiang) are endemic to the Tibetan plateau, of which the Changthang is the westernmost part. 
  • An endorheic lake- (also called a sink lake or terminal lake) is a collection of water within an endorheic basin, or sink, with no evident outlet.  Generally saline as a result of being unable to get rid of solutes left in the lake by  These lakes can be used as indicators of anthropogenic change, such as irrigation or climate change, in the areas surrounding them. Lakes with subsurface drainage are considered cryptorheic.
  • With no outflow, evaporation in the arid steppe conditions causes varying levels of salinity.
  • The Korzok Monastery, on the western bank of the lake is 400 years old and attracts tourists and Buddhist
  • Union Territory-Ladakh
  1. UPPER GANGA RIVER (BRIJGHAT TO NARORA STRETCH)
  • The river provides habitat for IUCN Red listed Ganges River Dolphinand Gharial Crocodile.
  • Situated in Hapur district
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. VEMBANAD-KOL WETLAND
  • The largest lake of Kerala, spanning 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 famous for exotic fish varieties and Paddy fields that are below sea level.
  • Vembanadu Lakein Kottayam, Punnamada Lake in Alappuzha and Kochi Lake in Kochi.
  • The Nehru Trophy Boat Raceis conducted in a portion of the lake
  • Fed by 10 rivers flowing into it including the six major rivers of central Kerala namely the Achenkovil, Manimala, Meenachil river, Muvattupuzha river, Pambaand Periyar.
  • The mouths of the Pamba and Achankovil rivers in Vembanad forms part of the Kuttanad
  • The Kumarakom Bird Sanctuaryis located on the east coast of the lake.
  • State-Kerala
  1. WULAR LAKE
  • It is the largest freshwater lake in India & Asia.
  • Sited in Bandipora district
  • Lake basin was formed as a result of tectonicactivity and is fed by the Jhelum River. 
  • Called as Mahapadmasar 
  • Tulbul Project is a “navigation lock-cum-control structure” at the mouth of Wular Lake
  • Lean season water inflows into the Wular Lake are enhanced from the Kishanganga riverby the Kishanganga Hydroelectric Plant after generating electricity.
  • UT-Jammu and Kashmir
  1. ASAN CONSERVATION RESERVE
  • ACR is a 444-hectare stretch of the Asan River running down to its confluence with the Yamuna River in the Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. It is Uttarakhand’s first Ramsar Site.
  • A barrage in the Uttarakhand-Himachal Pradesh border region in Doon Valley, (Dehradun District)
  • The damming of the River by the Asan Barrage in 1967resulted in siltation above the dam wall, which helped to create some of the Site’s bird-friendly habitats.
  • These habitats support 330 species of birds including the critically endangered red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis), and Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri).
  • Other non-avian species present include 49 fish species, one of these being the endangered Putitora mahseer (Tor putitora). Fish use the site for feeding, migration, and spawning.
  • identified with the Asmanvati of the Rigveda.
  • Dam creates the Asan Reservoir, also called Dhalipur Lake
  • State-Uttarakhand
  1. KABARTAL WETLAND
  • Also known as Kanwar Jheel, of the Indo-Gangetic plains in the Begusarai district of Bihar.
  • It acts as a vital flood buffer for the region besides providing livelihood opportunities to local communities.
  • Significant biodiversity is present, with 165 plant species and 394 animal species recorded, including 221 bird species. It is also a valuable site for fish biodiversity with over 50 species documented.
  • It is an important stopover along the Central Asian Flyway, with 58 migratory waterbirds using it to rest and refuel.
  • Asia’s largest freshwater oxbow lake (U-shaped lake that forms when a wide meander of a river is cut off, creating a free-standing body of water.)
  • Formed due to meandering of Gandak river, a tributary of Ganga, in the geological past.
  • Important stopover along the Central Asian Flyway
  • Five critically endangered species inhabit the site, including three vultures – the red-headed vulture (Sarcogyps calvus), white-rumped vulture (Gyps bengalensis) and Indian vulture (Gyps indicus) – and two waterbirds, the sociable lapwing (Vanellus gregarius) and Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri).
  • Major threats to the Site include water management activities such as drainage, water abstraction, damming and canalization.
  • State-Bihar
  1. SOOR SAROVAR LAKE
  • It is also known as Keetham lake situated within the Soor Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, which was declared as a bird sanctuary in the year 1991.
  • Situated alongside the river Yamuna in Agra
  • The Soor Sarovar bird sanctuary covered an area of 97 sq km.
  • It is today home to more than 165 species of migratory and resident birds.
  • Keetham Lake is the Agra Bear Rescue Facility, which is a Sloth bear rescue facility dedicated to rehabilitating previously enslaved ‘dancing bears
  • It also has a Bear Rescue center for rescued dancing bears.
  • State-Uttar Pradesh
  1. LONAR LAKE
  • 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.
  • Saline, soda lake, located at Lonar in Buldhana district
  • Lake is both saline and alkaline & created by the impact of either a comet or of an asteroid. 
  • The lake is part of Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary which falls under the unified control of the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR).
  • Created by a meteorite collision impact during the Pleistocene Epoch.
  • It is also known as a Lonar crater and is a notified National Geo-heritage Monument. Geo-heritage refers to the geological features which are inherently or culturally significant offering insight to earth’s evolution or history to earth science or that can be utilized for education.
  • One of the four known, hyper-velocity, impact craters in basaltic rock anywhere on Earth. The other three basaltic impact structures are in southern Brazil
  • It is the second Ramsar site in Maharashtra after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in the Nashik district.
  • The water in the lake is highly saline and alkaline, containing special microorganisms like anaerobes, Cyanobacteria, and phytoplankton.
  • Lies within the only known extraterrestrial impact crater found within the great Deccan Traps, a huge basaltic formation in India.
  • Kala Namak and Nimak Dalla are found in white crystalline masses. Khuppal is obtained in solid compact lumps and consists of a mixture of carbonates and chlorides in roughly equal proportions. Pipadi or Papri, which has a similar chemical composition, is very different in appearance. It is frequently tinged, slightly pink in colour and hollow air spaces are found between the crystalline masses which are formed in flakes or layers. Bhuski has no definite structure but consists of a soft flaky powder mixed with a quantity of impurity.
  • Gaylussite is the mineral has been recently reported from drill core. Gaylussite is a carbonate mineral, a hydrated sodium calcium carbonate (An unstable mineral which dehydrates in dry air and decomposes in water)
  • State-Maharashtra
  1. TSO KAR WETLAND COMPLEX (TSO KAR LAKE)
  • Ladakh’s Tso Kar Wetland Complex has been recognized as a wetland of international importance, becoming India’s 42nd Ramsar site.
  • 2nd Ramsar site in the Union Territory of Ladakh. It is a high-altitude wetland complex, found at more than 4,500 meters above sea level in the Changthang region of Ladakh.
  • The Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, which comprises two principal waterbodies– Startsapuk Tso and Tso Kar Lake situated in Ladakh’s Changthang region.
  • Situated in the Rupshu Plateau and valley in the southern part of Ladakh
  • Startsapuk Tso is a freshwater lake and Tso Kar is a hypersaline lake.
  • The TSO Kar name means white lake and it was given because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins of the wetlands due to the evaporation of highly saline water.
  • The TSO Kar basin is categorized as A1 Category Important Bird Area (IBA) as per BirdLife International and is also a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.
  • The basin is one of the most important breeding areas of the Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) in India.
  • It is also a major breeding area for the Bar-headed Geese (Anserindicus), Great Crested Grebe (Podicepscristatus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadornaferruginea), Lesser Sand-Plover (Charadriusmongolus) and Brown-headed Gull (Larusbrunnicephalus), and many other species.
  • UT-Ladakh, Leh
  1. BHINDAWAS WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
  • A human-made freshwater wetland of Haryana.
  • 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.
  • State-Haryana
  1. SULTANPUR NATIONAL PARK
  • Located 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.
  • State-Haryana
  1. THOL LAKE WILDLIFE SANCTUARY
  • Situated in the state of 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.
  • State-Gujarat
  1. WADHVANA WETLAND
  • 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.
  • State-Gujarat

 

 

Ramsar Sites in India UPSC
Image Credit: Prelim Bits

The Montreux Record

  • A register of wetland sites on the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importancewhere 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 a voluntary mechanism to highlight specific wetlands of international importance that are facing immediate challenges.
  • It is maintained as part of the List of Ramsar wetlands of international importance.
  • At present 2 Indian sites are listed under it. In 1993 Chilka lake was also listed in Montreux record due to problem of Siltation, but later in 2002, it was removed from the list.
  • Keoldeo NP and Loktak Lake are listed under Montreux Record.

Ramsar Sites in India UPSC

Ramsar sites in India
Andhra Pradesh
  • Kolleru Lake
Assam
  • Deepor Beel
Bihar
  • Kanwar Lake
Gujarat
  • Nalsarovar
  • Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Wadhvana Wetland
Haryana
  • Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Sultanpur National Park
Himachal Pradesh
  • Chandra Taal
  • Pong Dam Lake
  • Renuka Lake
Jammu and Kashmir
  • Hokera Wetland
  • Surinsar-Mansar Lakes
  • Wular Lake
Kerala
  • Ashtamudi Wetland
  • Sasthamkotta Lake
  • Vembanad-Kol Wetland
Ladakh
  • Tsomoriri
  • Tso Kar Wetland Complex
Madhya Pradesh
  • Bhoj Wetland
Maharashtra
  • Nandur Madhameshwar
  • Lonar Lake
Manipur
  • Loktak Lake
Odisha
  • Bhitarkanika Mangroves
  • Chilika Lake
Punjab
  • Beas Conservation Reserve
  • Harike Wetland
  • Kanjli Wetland
  • Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve
  • Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Ropar Wetland
Rajasthan
  • Keoladeo National Park
  • Sambhar Lake
Tamil Nadu
  • Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary
Tripura
  • Rudrasagar Lake
Uttar Pradesh
  • Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
  • Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary
  • Saman Bird Sanctuary
  • Samaspur Bird Sanctuary
  • Sandi Bird Sanctuary
  • Sarsai Nawar Jheel
  • Sur Sarovar
  • Upper Ganga River
Uttarakhand
  • Asan Barrage
West Bengal
  • East Kolkata Wetlands
  • Sundarban Wetland

 

Source: Wikipedia


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