New Ramsar Sites in India

According to union environment ministry, 6 new wetlands from Tamil Nadu, and 1 each from Karnataka, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha have received Ramsar recognition as “Wetlands of International Importance”. With the inclusion of 10, total number of Ramsar Sites stands at 64.

Newly recognised sites are;

  1. Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary– It is a man-made wetland, located in Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu. It is the largest reserve for migratory water birds and breeding resident in south India. Paddy is also irrigated in the sanctuary, on 190 acres area.
  2. Nanda Lake– Nanda Lake is the freshwater marshes, located adjacent to one of rivulets of Zuari river in Goa. It helps the locals to store water in off-monsoon season. Stored water is used to cultivate paddy downstream of this lake. It is home to Black-headed ibis, Wire-tailed swallow, Common kingfisher, Brahminy kite and Bronze-winged jacana.
  3. Satkosia gorge– It expands along Mahanadi River in Odisha. It was set up in 1976 as a wildlife sanctuary. The Deccan Peninsula and the Eastern Ghats meet at Satkosia. Satkosia gorge wetland is known for marshes and evergreen forests.
  4. Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve (GoMBR)– It is located in south-eastern coastline and is famous for rich marine environment. The reserve is home to various globally important and highly threatened species like whale shark, Dugong, green sea turtle, seahorses, balanoglossus, dolphins, hawksbill turtle, sacred chanks, etc.
  5. Vembannur Wetland Complex, Tamil Nadu
  6. Vellode Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
  7. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu and
  8. Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
  9. Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary, Karnataka and
  10. Sirpur Wetland, Madhya Pradesh.

Ramsar Sites are recognised under the Convention on Wetlands, which is an intergovernmental treaty dealing with conservation of wetlands. As a part of the convention, parties identify and place suitable wetlands to the List of Wetlands of International Importance of Ramsar List. In July 2022, India had designated 5 new wetlands of international importance viz., Pala wetland in Mizoram; Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh; and Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest & Pichavaram Mangrove in Tamil Nadu

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