Ramsar Wetland Sites in India

Ramsar Wetland Sites in India
Wetlands are water-bound ecosystems, ie a piece of land that is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. They include mangroves, marshes, rivers, lakes, deltas, floodplains, forests, rice-fields, and even coral reefs. 

The destruction of wetlands due to urbanization is a major concern nowadays because they are some of the most productive environments and habitats of the rare species of plants and animals on the planet.

What are Ramsar Sites?

Wetlands of international importance are known as Ramsar sites. They are selected based on the ecological, botanical, zoological, limnological or hydrological importance. 

Ramsar is a city in Iran where an international treaty for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands was signed on February 2, 1971. These days, Ramsar Convention has over 2,300 Ramsar Sites, six partner organizations, and 171 participating countries. It should be noted that the Ramsar Convention is not a part of the United Nations.

Ramsar Convention defines wetlands as
areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt, including areas of marine water the depth of which at a low tide does not exceed six metres. 

Ramsar Classification of Wetlands

Wetlands are classified into 5 types based on hydrology, soil type, and biota. They are:

  • Riverine – wetlands along rivers & streams.
  • Lacustrine – wetlands associated with lakes.
  • Palustrine – marshes, swamps & bogs.
  • Estuarine – deltas, tidal marshes and mudflats, & mangrove swamps.
  • Marine – coastal wetlands including coastal lagoons, seagrass beds, rocky shores & coral reefs.

Montreux Record

The Montreux Record is a register of wetland sites on the ‘List of Wetlands of International Importance.’  It was established in 1990. The record keeps track of variations in ecological character that has happened, are happening, or are likely to happen mainly due to human interference, urbanization, and pollution.

Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) and Loktak Lake (Manipur) from India are included in the Montreux Record. 

Basic Facts

  • Total No. of Wetlands in India – 46.
  • First Ramsar Wetland in India – Chilika Lake (1981).
  • Indian State with most no. of Wetlands – Uttar Pradesh (7).
  • Largest Ramsar Site Wetland in India – Sundarban Wetlands (4230 sq.km.) 
  • Smallest Ramsar Site Wetland in India – Renuka Lake (0.4 sq.km.)
  • First Ramsar Site in the World – Cobourg Peninsula (Australia, 1974).
  • Largest Ramar Site in the World – Rio Negro (Brazil, 120,000 sq.km.).
  • The country with the highest no. of Ramsar Wetlands Sites – United Kingdom (175).
  • Newest Ramsar Sites in India – Sultanpur National Park (Haryana, 2021).

List of Ramsar Sites in India

As of August 2021, there are 46 wetland sites throughout India.

NameStateDate of Declaration
Asan Barrage
21 July 2020
Ashtamudi Wetland
19 August 2002
Beas Conservation Reserve*
Haryana25 May 2021
Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary
Orissa19 August 2002
Bhitarkanika Mangroves
Orissa19 August 2002
Bhoj Wetlands
Madhya Pradesh19 August 2002
Chandra Taal
Himachal Pradesh8 November 2005
Chilika Lake
Orissa1 October 1981
Deepor Beel
Assam19 August 2002
East Kolkatta Wetlands
West Bengal19 August 2002
Haiderpur Wetland
Uttar Pradesh13 April 2021
Harike Lake
Punjab23 March 1990
Hokera Wetland
Jammu & Kashmir8 November 2005
Kanjli Lake
Punjab22 January 2002
Kanwar Taal / Kabar Taal Lake
Bihar21 July 2020
Keoladeo Ghana National Park
Rajasthan1 October 1981
Kolleru Lake
Andhra Pradesh19 August 2002
Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve
Punjab26 September 2019
Loktak Lake
Manipur23 March 1990
Lonar Lake
Maharashtra13 November 2020
Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary
Gujarat24 September 2012
Nandur Madhameshwar
Maharashtra21 September 2019
Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary
Punjab26 September 2019
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary
Uttar Pradesh19 September 2019
Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary
Uttar Pradesh2 December 2019
Point Calimere Wildlife &
 Bird Sanctuary
Tamil Nadu19 August 2002
Pong Dam Lake
19 August 2002
Renuka Wetland
8 November 2005
Ropar Lake
Punjab22 January 2002
Rudrasagar Lake
Tripura8 November 2005
Saman Bird Sanctuary
Uttar Pradesh2 December 2019
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary
Uttar Pradesh3 October 2019
Sambhar Lake
Rajasthan23 March 1990
Sandi Bird Sanctuary
Uttar Pradesh26 September 2019
Sarsai Nawar Jheel
Uttar Pradesh19 September 2019
Sasthamkotta Lake
Kerala19 August 2002
Sultanpur National Park*
Haryana25 May 2021
Sunderbans Wetland
West Bengal30 January 2019
Sur Sarovar
Uttar Pradesh13 November 2020
Surinsar-Mansar Lakes
Jammu & Kashmir8 November 2005
Thol Lake
Gujarat05 April 2021
Tso Kar
Ladakh17 November 2020
Jammu & Kashmir19 August 2002
Upper Ganga River
(Brijghat to Narora Stretch)
Uttar Pradesh8 November 2005
Vembanad-Kol Wetland
Kerala19 August 2002
Wadhvana Wetland
Gujarat05 April 2021
Wular Lake
Jammu & Kashmir23 March 1990
  • Total No.of Wetlands in Kerala – 3
    • Vembanad-Kol Wetland
    • Sasthamkotta Lake
    • Ashtamudi Wetland

📝 SideNotes:

  • World Wetlands Day – February 2.
  • Biota – Plants and animals of a particular habitat or ecosystem.
  • Palustrine – Marshy.
  • Largest Freshwater Lake in India – Wular Lake.
  • Longest Lake in India – Vembanad Lake.
  • Largest Mangrove Forest in the World – Sundarbans.
  • Keoladeo National Park – Formerly known as Bharatpur Bird sanctuary.
Thanks for reading!!!