75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence

Source: The post is based on the article 75 Ramsar Sites in 75th Year of Independence published in PIB on 14th August 2022.

What is the News?

India has added 11 more wetlands to the list of Ramsar sites to make a total 75 Ramsar sites.

The 11 new sites include Four (4) sites in Tamil Nadu, Three (3) in Odisha, Two (2) in Jammu & Kashmir and One (1) each in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Note: Currently, Tamil Nadu has a maximum no. of Ramsar sites (14), followed by UP which has 10 Ramsar sites.  

Which are these 11 New Ramsar Sites?
Source: TOI

Tampara Lake in Odisha: It is among the most prominent freshwater lakes in Odisha. The lake was called “Tamp” by the British and subsequently termed “Tampra” by the locals. The lake is an important habitat for vulnerable species such as Cyprinus carpio, common pochard (Aythya ferina) and river tern (Sterna aurantia).

Hirakud Reservoir in Odisha: It is the largest earthen dam in Odisha started operating in 1957. The reservoir provides important hydrological services by moderating floods in the Mahanadi delta.

Ansupa Lake in Odisha: It is the largest freshwater lake in Odisha. It is an oxbow lake formed by River Mahanadi. It 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).

Yashwant Sagar in Madhya Pradesh: It is one of the two Important Bird Areas(IBA) in the Indore region. Presently, it is mainly used for water supply to the city of Indore. It is considered to be a stronghold of the vulnerable Sarus Crane in central India. 

Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu: It is locally known as “Chitrangudi Kanmoli”. It has been a protected area since 1989 and has been an ideal habitat for winter migratory birds.

Suchindrum Theroor Wetland complex in Tamil Nadu: It is a part of Suchindrum-Theroor Manakudi Conservation Reserve. It is declared an Important Bird Area and lies at the southern tip of the Central Asian flyway of migratory birds.  

Vaduvur bird sanctuary in Tamil Nadu: It is a large human-made irrigation tank and shelter for migratory birds as it provides a suitable environment for food, shelter, and breeding ground. 

Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu: It is notable as a nesting site for several migratory heron species that roost in the prominent growth of babul trees there.

Thane Creek: It is located in Maharashtra. There are several sources of fresh water in the creek of which Ulhas River is the largest. It has been declared as Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary. It is fringed by mangroves on both banks & comprises around 20% of the total Indian mangrove species.

Hygam Wetland in Jammu and Kashmir: It falls within the River Jhelum basin and plays a significant role as a flood absorption basin, biodiversity conservation site, eco-tourism site and livelihood security for the local communities. It is also recognized as an Important Bird Area (IBA). 

Shallabug Wetland Conservation Reserve in Jammu and Kashmir: Large areas of the wetland dry up between September and March. The area has extensive reedbeds of Phragmites communis and Typha angustata and rich growth of Nymphaea candida and N. stellata on open water.

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