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Four more sites of India added to Ramsar list

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    25th Aug, 2021

Context

Four more wetlands from India get recognition from the Ramsar Secretariat as Ramsar sites. 

About

About the new Ramsar sites of India 

  • Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary, Haryana: 
  • The Bhindawas sanctuary, the largest wetland in Haryana, is a man-made freshwater wetland.
  • The Sanctuary is spread over an area of 1074 acres.
  • More than 30,000 varieties of migratory birds belonging to over 250 species and resident birds visit Bhindawas Bird Sanctuary Throughout the year.
  • The site supports more than ten globally threatened species including the endangered Egyptian Vulture, Steppe Eagle, Pallas’s Fish Eagle, and Black-bellied Tern.
  • The antelope Nilgai (Blue Bull) and Jungle Cat can also be seen in this sanctuary.
  • Sultanpur National Park, Haryana: 
    • It supports more than 220 species of resident, winter migratory and local migratory water birds at critical stages of their life cycles. 
    • More than ten of these are globally threatened, including 
      • The critically endangered sociable lapwing,
      • The endangered Egyptian Vulture, Saker Falcon, Pallas’s Fish Eagle and Black-bellied Tern.
    • Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, Gujarat:
      • Covering a total area of 1,083,322 hectares.
      • It lies on the Central Asian Flyway and more than 320 bird species can be found here. 
      • More than 110 waterbird species have been recorded, about 43% of India’s waterbird species, with almost 30% of those species being migratory waterbirds.
      • 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.
    • Wadhvana Wetland, Gujarat:
      • This 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. 
      • Some threatened or near-threatened species such as 
        • The endangered Pallas’s fish-Eagle. 
        • The vulnerable Common Pochard.
        • The near-threatened Dalmatian Pelican.
        • Grey-headed Fish-eagle.
        • Ferruginous Duck.

Ramsar Sites

  • These are wetlands deemed to be of "international importance" under the Ramsar Convention. 
  • It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971.
  • Ramsar sites are transboundary in which case more than one Contracting Party is responsible for their conservation and management.
  • The inclusion in the list is for-
  • the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands,
  • recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their
    • Economic value.
    • Cultural value
    • Scientific value
    • Recreational value
  • It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands.

Aim:

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.

Wetland

 A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either permanently or seasonally, where oxygen-free processes prevail. 

  • The primary factor that distinguishes wetlands from other landforms or water bodies is the characteristic vegetation of aquatic plants, adapted to the unique hydric soil.
  • Two general categories of wetlands are recognized: 
    • Coastal or tidal wetlands
    • Inland or non-tidal wetland
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