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UPSC : 75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence

Aug 22, 2022

75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence - UPSC Current Affairs

It’s time to upgrade your UPSC CSE knowledge with our daily dose of Current Affairs. In today’s edition, we will talk about the 75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence.

Read further to understand the topic’s relevance to the UPSC CSE syllabus.


India adds 21 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make a total 75 Ramsar sites covering an area of 13,26,677 ha in the country in the 75th year of Independence.

Ramsar Convention

  • It was signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. India signed it on 1st Feb 1982. 
  • India is one of the Contracting Parties to Ramsar Convention.
  • As of 2022, India is home to 75 Ramsar Sites in total. 
  • Tamil Nadu has maximum no. of Ramsar sites (14), followed by UP which has 10 of Ramsar sites.  

Read yesterday’s edition of Current Affairs on Procedure for Suspension of Members of Parliament, in case you missed reading it.

Recently added 21 Wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites

1.Tampara LakeOdishaThe wetland supports at least 60 species of birds, 46 species of fishes, at least 48 species of phytoplanktons, and more than seven species of terrestrial plants and macrophytes.It is an important habitat for vulnerable species such as Cyprinus carpio, common pochard (Aythya ferina), and river tern (Sterna aurantia).
2.Hirakud ReservoirOdishaOver 130 bird species have been recorded at this site, out of which 20 species are of high conservation significance.The reservoir is a source of water for producing around 300 MW of hydropower and irrigating 436,000 ha of cultural command area.The wetland also provides important hydrological services by moderating floods in the Mahanadi delta, the ecological and socio-economic hub of the east coast of India.
3.Ansupa LakeOdishaThe wetland provides a safe habitat to at least three threatened bird species Rynchops albicollis (EN), Sterna acuticauda (EN) and Sterna aurantia (VU) and three threatened fish species Clarias magur (Clariidae) (EN), Cyprinus carpio (Cyprinidae) (VU) and Wallago attu (VU).
4.Satkosia GorgeOdishaSatkosia Gorge Sanctuary owes its name to the narrow stretch of River Mahanadi i.e. “ Sat kosh” or seven miles long near Tikarpada, 60 km south of Angul.
5.Yashwant SagarMadhya PradeshYashwant Sagar is considered to be a stronghold of the vulnerable Sarus Crane in central India.The catchment area of this wetland is predominantly agriculture.
6.Sirpur wetlandMadhya PradeshIt is a human-made wetland that has stabilized and acquired near-natural characteristics in the last two centuries.The Site supports 130 bird species, including residents and migrants such as common pochard (Aythya ferina), Egyptian vulture (Neophron percnopterus) and Indian river tern (Sterna aurantia).
7.Chitrangudi Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduIt is an ideal habitat for winter migratory birds.Around 50 birds belonging to 30 families have been reported from the site.  Out of these 47 are water birds and 3 terrestrial birds.
8.Suchindram Theroor Wetland ComplexTamil NaduCopper plate inscriptions from the 9th century mention Pasumkulam, Venchikulam, Nedumarthukulam, Perumkulam, Elemchikulam and Konadunkulam.Around 250 species of birds have been recorded in the area, of which 53 are migratory, 12 endemic, and 4 threatened.
9.Vaduvoor Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduIt has a diverse habitat including a number of inlets and surrounding irrigated agricultural fields which provides good nesting and foraging habitats for birds.
10Koonthankulam Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduKoonthankulam Bird Sanctuary is a protected area declared as a sanctuary in 1994.
11.Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere ReserveTamil NaduThe Gulf of Mannar endowed with three distinct Coastal ecosystems namely coral reefs, Seagrass bed and mangroves.It is known for its unique biological wealth and is a storehouse of marine diversity of global significance.
12.Kanjirankulam Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduThe breeding population of migratory waterbirds arrive here between October and February and include: painted stork, white ibis, black ibis, little egret, great egret.The threatened Spot-billed Pelican Pelecanus philippensis breeds here. It exhibits rich biodiversity including many globally near-threatened species like Spot-billed Pelican, Oriental Darter, Oriental white Ibis and Painted Stork and also commonly occurring shore and water birds like greenshank, plovers, stilts and forest birds like bee-eaters, bulbuls, cuckoos, starlings, barbets, etc.The wetland supports IUCN RedList vulnerable avian species like Sterna aurantia (River Tern).
13.Vembannur Wetland ComplexTamil NaduIt is a man-made inland tank which forms the southernmost tip of peninsular India.This wetland forms part of the Important Bird and Biodiversity Area and hence part of the BirdLife International Data Zone.About 250 species of birds have been recorded in the district.
14.Vellode Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduIt is located in the Vadamugam Vellode village in Tamil Nadu’s Erode district.It is locally known as Periyakulam Yeri.It is one of the 141 prioritized wetlands in the state.
15.Vedanthangal Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduIt is one of the oldest bird-protected areas in Chengalpattu district of Tamil Nadu.This freshwater wetland is a people-protected waterbird area, the history of which goes back centuries.Locals have been protecting this heronry and in return benefitting from the manure-rich water from the lake.
16.Udayamarthandapuram Bird SanctuaryTamil NaduUdhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary is located in the Tiruthuraipoondi taluk of Tiruvarur district of Tamil Nadu.It is an important staging and breeding ground for several species of waterbirds.
17.Thane CreekMaharashtraIt is fringed by mangroves on both banks & comprises around 20% of the total Indian mangrove species.The area is an important part of the wetland complex of the Central Asian Flyway of the birds and has been categorized as an Important Bird Area (IBA).Other than 202 avifaunal species, the creek also houses 18 species of fishes, crustaceans & molluscs, 59 species of butterflies, 67 species of Insects, and 35 species of phytoplankton, and 24 species of zooplankton & 23 species of Benthos.
18.Hygam Wetland Conservation ReserveJammu & KashmirIt provides a plethora of ecosystem services, these include fish and fiber, water supply, water purification, climate regulation, flood regulation, and recreational opportunities.The livelihoods of people living in, and adjoining the fringes of wetlands depend partially or entirely on wetland ecosystem services.
19.Shallabugh Wetland Conservation ReserveJammu & KashmirThe area has extensive reedbeds of Phragmites communis and Typha angustata, and rich growth of Nymphaea candida and N. stellata on open water.It serves as an abode to more than four lakh resident and migratory birds of at least 21 species.It plays a major role in the natural control, amelioration or prevention of flooding, in seasonal water retention for wetlands and recharge of aquifers.It provides a plethora of ecosystem services, these include fish and fiber, water supply, water purification, climate regulation, flood regulation, recreational opportunities. The wetland serves as an important breeding ground for many species of waterbirds.
20.Nanda LakeGoaThis wetland supports a wide variety of migratory waterbirds and many other important plants and animals.Notable bird species include black-headed ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus), common kingfisher (Alcedo atthis), wire-tailed swallow (Hirundo smithii), bronze-winged jacana (Metopidius indicus), brahminy kite (Haliastur indus), intermediate egret (Ardea intermedia), little cormorant (Microcarbo niger) and lesser whistling duck (Dendrocygna javanica).
21.Ranganathittu BSKarnatakaAround 170 different species of birds have been recorded from Ranganathittu.Most commonly seen birds have Painted Stork, Kingfishers, Cormorants, Darter, Herons, River Tern, Egrets, Indian Roller, Blackheaded Ibis, Spoonbill, Great Stone Plover, and Spot-billed Pelicans.

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