What is the News?
Four more wetlands from India – two from Haryana and two from Gujarat – have been recognised as Ramsar sites of international importance. With this, the number of Ramsar sites in India are 46.
The wetlands that have received the Ramsar Site tag are Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary and Sultanpur National Park from Haryana; and Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary and Wadhvana Wetland from Gujarat.
About Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary:
- Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary is situated in Gujarat. The sanctuary lies on the Central Asian Flyway.
- Built in: Thol Lake was initially built in 1912 as a tank by the Gaekwad regime to provide irrigation facilities to farmers.
- Wildlife Sanctuary: In 1988, it was declared as a wildlife sanctuary by the state government to protect the birdlife found in this open-water wetland site.
- Bird species: The lake supports more than 320 bird species, including more than 30 threatened waterbird species such as the critically endangered White-rumped Vulture and Sociable Lapwing; and the vulnerable Sarus Crane and Common Pochard.
About Wadhvana Wetland:
- Wadhvana Wetland is situated in Gujarat. The wetland was created as an irrigation dam in 1910 in Dabhoi taluka of Vadodara, Gujarat.
- The wetland 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.
- These include some threatened or near-threatened species such as the endangered Pallas’s fish-eagle, the vulnerable common pochard and the near-threatened Dalmatian pelican, grey-headed fish-eagle and ferruginous duck.
- In addition the red-crested pochard (Netta rufina), a duck which is otherwise rare in Western India, is regularly recorded here during winter.
About Central Asian Flyway(CAF) Flyway:
- A flyway is a geographical region within which a single or a group of migratory species completes its annual cycle – breeding, moulting, staging and non-breeding.
- Central Asian Flyway(CAF) encompasses overlapping migration routes of over 30 countries for different water-birds. The CAF links the northernmost breeding ground in Siberia to the southernmost non-breeding grounds in west and south Asia, the Maldives and the British Indian Ocean territory.