Two new Indian Wetland sites designated Wetlands of International Importance

Tags: Important Days

On the occasion of World wetlands day, celebrated every year on 2 February, two more Indian wetland sites have been designated as the Wetlands of International Importance or Ramsar Sites on 2 February 2022.

The new sites are Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in U.P.

Now the total number of Ramsar sites in India is 49 with a surface area of 1,093,636 hectares.

Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuar:

  •  Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Jamnagar district of Gujarat. It is a bird sanctuary which hosts hundreds of migratory birds.

Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary:

  • The Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary is the largest natural floodplain wetland in the district of Sant Kabir Nagar, Uttar Pradesh. Migratory birds from Tibet, China, Europe, and Siberia visit the place between November to January.

What is Wetlands 

  • Wetland has been defined as any land area that is saturated or flooded with water, either seasonally or permanently. 
  • Inland wetlands include aquifers, lakes, rivers, streams, marshes, peatlands, ponds, flood plains and swamps.
  • Coastal wetlands include all coastlines, mangroves, saltmarshes, estuaries, lagoons, seagrass meadows and coral reef

Ramsar Site:

To protect the wetlands and its fragile ecosystem an international conference was organised in the city of Ramsar, Iran in 1971.  The conference was called the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance.  

The convention provides a framework for the conservation of wetlands.

It maintains a database of important wetlands of its member countries which are to be protected and conserved and these wetlands are  also called Wetlands of International Importance or Ramsar sites.

  • State having maximum site under Ramsar: Uttar Pradesh , total 10 
  • Largest Ramsar site in India: Sunderban of West Bengal 
  • Smallest Ramsar site in India: Renuka in Himachal Pradesh 
  • First Site to be included in Ramsar Site: Chilika Lake (Odisha) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) in 1981.

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