Ramsar sites in India

Ramsar Sites In India

As of 3rd June 2021 there are 42 Ramsar sites in India . Ramsar sites in India are wetlands deemed to be of “international importance” under the Ramsar Convention.  A wetland is a place where the land is covered by water. Marshes, ponds, the edge of a lake/ocean, the delta at the mouth of a river, low-lying areas that frequently flood — all of these are wetlands. Wetlands of international importance in India are also known as Ramsar sites in India.

Ramsar Convention 

  • Ramsar is a city in Iran. In 1971, an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands was signed at Ramsar.
  • It is an international treaty for “the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands”.
  • It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands.
  • The Convention’s mission is “the conservation and wise use of all wetlands through local and national actions and international cooperation.
Ramsar Sites in India

Ramsar Sites in India & across the World

  • Today, the Ramsar List is the world’s largest network of protected areas.
  • There are currently over 2,300 Ramsar Sites around the world. They cover over 2.5 million square kilometres, an area larger than Mexico.
  • The world’s first Site was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia, designated in 1974.
  • The largest Sites are Ngiri-Tumba-Maindombe in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Queen Maud Gulf in Canada; these Sites each cover over 60,000 square kilometres.
  • The countries with the most Sites are the United Kingdom with 175 and Mexico with 142.
  • Bolivia has the largest area with 148,000 km2 under Ramsar protection.
  • Tso Kar wetland is the 42nd Ramsar sites in India & the second in the UT of Ladakh.The Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies, Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake to the south, & Tso Kar itself, a hypersaline lake to the north, situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh.

Ramsar Sites in India

As of June 2021, there are 42 Ramsar Sites in India (Wetlands).

Tso Kar wetland is India’s 42nd Ramsar site & the second in the UT of Ladakh.The Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies, Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake to the south, & Tso Kar itself, a hypersaline lake to the north, situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh.

Wetlands in India
Ramsar SiteStateArea (km2)Description
1Ashtamudi WetlandKerala614It is a natural backwater in Kollam district. River Kallada and Pallichal drains into it. It forms an estuary with Sea at Neendakara (famous fishing harbour in Kerala).National Waterway 3 passes through it.
2Beas Conservation ReservePunjab64It is a 185-kilometre 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 programme was initiated to re-introduce the critically endangered gharial.
3Bhitarkanika MangrovesOdisha650It is famous for its saltwater crocodiles and 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.
4Bhoj WetlandMadhya Pradesh32The 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.
5Chandra TaalHimachal Pradesh.49It is a high altitude lake.It supports IUCN Redlisted Snow Leopard.
6Chilika LakeOdisha1165It is a brackish water lagoon at the mouth of the Daya River.It is the largest coastal lagoon in India.Birds from as far as the Caspian Sea, Lake Baikal, Aral Sea and other remote parts Central Asia, Ladakh and Himalayas come here.In 1981, Chilika Lake was 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 of Chilika lake.Chilka is home to the only known population of Irrawaddy dolphins in India.
7Deepor BeelAssam40A permanent freshwater lake in a former channel of the Brahmaputra river.It is a few kilometres to the left of Guwahati whereas Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary is around 35 km to the right.
8East Kolkata WetlandsWest Bengal125It is multiple use wetland that serves the city of Kolkata.
9Harike WetlandPunjab41It is a shallow water reservoir at the confluence of Beas and Sutlej rivers.
10Hokera WetlandUnion Territory of J&K13.75It is only 10 km from Srinagar.It is a natural perennial wetland contiguous to the Jhelum basin.
11Kanjli WetlandPunjab1.83The 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.
12Keoladeo National ParkRajasthan28.73A complex of ten artificial, seasonal lagoons, varying in size.Vegetation is a mosaic of scrub and open grassland that provides habitat for breeding, wintering and staging migratory birds.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.
13Keshopur-Miani Community ReservePunjab34The Site is an example of wise use of a community-managed wetland, which provides food for people and supports local biodiversity.
14Kolleru LakeAndhra Pradesh901A natural eutrophic lake situated between the river basins of the Godavari and the Krishna.It was previously a lagoon, but now it is several kilometres inland due to the coastline of emergence and delta formation.
15Loktak LakeManipur266Loktak 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.
16Nalsarovar Bird SanctuaryGujarat123A 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.
17Nandur MadhameshwarMaharashtra14Construction of the Nandur Madhameshwar Weir at the confluence of the Godavari and Kadwa Rivers helped create a thriving wetland.
18Nangal Wildlife SanctuaryPunjab1Located 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.
19Nawabganj Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh2It was renamed as Chandra Shekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary in 2015.
20Parvati Arga Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh7It 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.
21Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu385One of the last remnants of Dry Evergreen Forests.Habitat: Dry Evergreen Forests, Mangrove & Wetlands.
22Pong Dam LakeHimachal Pradesh156.62It is also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar.
23Renuka LakeHimachal Pradesh.2A natural wetland with freshwater springs and inland subterranean karst formations.
24Ropar WetlandPunjab13.65humanmade wetland of lake and river formed by the construction of a barrage for diversion of water from the Sutlej River.
25Rudrasagar LakeTripura2.4It is a reservoir fed by three perennial streams discharging to the River Gomti.It is an ideal habitat for IUCN Redlisted Three-striped Roof Turtle.
26Saman Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh5It is a seasonal oxbow lake on the Ganges floodplain.
27Samaspur Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh8It is a perennial lowland marsh typical of the Indo-Gangetic Plains.The Sanctuary harbours threatened species such as the endangered Egyptian vulture.
28Sambhar LakeRajasthan240The Sambhar Salt Lake is India’s largest inland saltwater lake.It is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of flamingos.
29Sandi Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh3The wetland is typical of the Indo-Gangetic plains.
30Sarsai Nawar JheelUttar Pradesh2It is a permanent marsh.It is an example of co-habitation of humans and wildlife.The site’s name is derived from the large non-migratory sarus crane.
31Sasthamkotta LakeKerala3.73It is the 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.
32Sundarban WetlandWest Bengal4230Sundarban Wetland is located within the largest mangrove forest in the world.It is the largest Ramsar Site in India.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.
33Surinsar-Mansar LakesUnion Territory of J&K3.5Freshwater composite lake in semi-arid Panjab Plains, adjoining the Jhelum Basin.
34Tsomoriri (Tso Moriri)Union Territory of Ladakh120A freshwater to brackish lake lying at 4,595m above sea level.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.With no outflow, evaporation in the arid steppe conditions causes varying levels of salinity.
35Upper Ganga River (Brijghat to Narora Stretch)Uttar Pradesh265.9The river provides habitat for IUCN Red listed Ganges River Dolphin and Gharial Crocodile.
36Vembanad-Kol WetlandKerala1512.5Largest 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 of India.It is below sea level and is famous for exotic fish varieties and Paddy fields that are below sea level.
37Wular LakeUnion Territory of J&K189It is the largest freshwater lake in India.
38Asan BarrageUttarakhand4.44It is a stretch of the Asan River running down to its confluence with the Yamuna River in the Dehradun district.The stretch supports many species of birds including the critically endangered red-headed vulture (Indian black vulture), white-rumped vulture and Baer’s pochard.
39Kanwar Taal or Kabar Taal LakeBihar, Begusarai26.2It lies in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.The wetland is an important stopover for the Central Asian Flyway migratory waterbirds.Five critically endangered species inhabit the site, including three vultures – the red-headed vulture, white-rumped vulture and Indian vulture – and two waterbirds, the sociable lapwing and Baer’s pochard.
40Sur SarovarUttar Pradesh, Agra district4.31It was created to supply water to the city of Agra.The wetland is an important stopover for the Central Asian Flyway migratory waterbirds.
41Lonar LakeMaharashtra, Buldhana district4.27It is an endorheic (closed basin) crater lake formed by a meteorite impact.It is high in salinity and alkalinity due to the lack of an outflow.Recently, the colour of Lonar lake water had turned pink due to a large presence of the salt-loving “haloarchaea” microbes.Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea is a bacteria culture that produces pink pigment and is found in water saturated with salt.
42Tso KarLadakh, Leh district95.77Tso Kar wetland is India’s 42nd Ramsar site & the second in the UT of Ladakh. The Tso Kar Basin is a high-altitude wetland complex, consisting of two principal waterbodies, Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake to the south, &Tso Kar itself, a hypersaline lake to the north, situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh. It is called Tso Kar, meaning white lake, because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins due to the evaporation of highly saline water. Tso Kar Basin is an Important Bird Area according to BirdLife International.It is a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.Also, the site is the most important breeding areas of the Black-necked Cranes in India.
State/UTNo. of Ramsar Sites
Ut

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