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 – 80. (as of January 2024)
  • 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 –  (as of January 2024)
    • Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve, Aghanashini Estuary & Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve (Karnataka) & 
    • Karaivetti Bird sanctuary & Longwood Shola Reserve Forest (Tamil Nadu).

List of Ramsar Sites in India

As of January 2024, there are 80 wetland sites throughout India.

NameStateDate of Declaration
Aghanashini EstuaryKarnataka31 January 2024
Ankasamudra Bird Conservation ReserveKarnataka31 January 2024
Ansupa LakeOdisha12 October 2021
Asan BarrageUttarakhand21 July 2020
Ashtamudi WetlandKerala19 August 2002
Bakhira SanctuaryUttar Pradesh29 June 2021
Beas Conservation Reserve*Haryana25 May 2021
Bhindawas Wildlife SanctuaryOrissa19 August 2002
Bhitarkanika MangrovesOrissa19 August 2002
Bhoj WetlandsMadhya Pradesh19 August 2002
Chandra TaalHimachal Pradesh8 November 2005
Chilika LakeOrissa1 October 1981
Chitrangudi Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 November 2021
Deepor BeelAssam19 August 2002
East Kolkatta WetlandsWest Bengal19 August 2002
Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere ReserveTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Haiderpur WetlandUttar Pradesh13 April 2021
Harike LakePunjab23 March 1990
Hirakud ReservoirOdisha12 October 2021
Hokera WetlandJammu & Kashmir8 November 2005
Hygam Wetland Conservation ReserveJammu & Kashmir8 June 2022
Kanjirankulam Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Kanjli LakePunjab22 January 2002
Kanwar Taal / Kabar Taal LakeBihar21 July 2020
Karaivetti Bird sanctuaryTamil Nadu31 January 2024
Karikili Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Keoladeo Ghana National ParkRajasthan1 October 1981
Khijadiya Bird SanctuaryGujarat13 April 2021
Keshopur-Miani Community ReservePunjab26 September 2019
Kolleru LakeAndhra Pradesh19 August 2002
Koonthankulam Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 November 2021
Loktak LakeManipur23 March 1990
Lonar LakeMaharashtra13 November 2020
Longwood Shola Reserve ForestTamil Nadu31 January 2024
Magadi Kere Conservation ReserveKarnataka31 January 2024
Nalsarovar Bird SanctuaryGujarat24 September 2012
Nanda LakeGoa8 June 2022
Nandur MadhameshwarMaharashtra21 September 2019
Nangal Wildlife SanctuaryPunjab26 September 2019
Nawabganj Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh19 September 2019
Pala WetlandMizoram31 August 2021
Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve ForestTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Parvati Agra Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh2 December 2019
Pichavaram Mangrove ForestTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Point Calimere Wildlife &
Bird Sanctuary
Tamil Nadu19 August 2002
Pong Dam LakeHimachal
19 August 2002
Ranganathittu Bird SanctuaryKarnataka15 February 2022
Renuka WetlandHimachal
8 November 2005
Ropar LakePunjab22 January 2002
Rudrasagar LakeTripura8 November 2005
Sakhya SagarMadhya Pradesh7 January 2022
Saman Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh2 December 2019
Samaspur Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh3 October 2019
Sambhar LakeRajasthan23 March 1990
Sandi Bird SanctuaryUttar Pradesh26 September 2019
Sarsai Nawar JheelUttar Pradesh19 September 2019
Sasthamkotta LakeKerala19 August 2002
Satkosia GorgeOdisha12 October 2021
Shallbugh Wetland Conservation ReserveJammu & Kashmir8 June 2022
Sirpur LakeMadhya Pradesh7 January 2022
Suchindram Theroor Wetland ComplexTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Sultanpur National Park*Haryana25 May 2021
Sunderbans WetlandWest Bengal30 January 2019
Sur SarovarUttar Pradesh13 November 2020
Surinsar-Mansar LakesJammu & Kashmir8 November 2005
Tampara LakeOdisha12 October 2021
Thane CreekMaharashtra13 April 2022
Thol LakeGujarat05 April 2021
Tso KarLadakh17 November 2020
TsomoririJammu & Kashmir19 August 2002
Udhayamarthandapuram Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Upper Ganga River
(Brijghat to Narora Stretch)
Uttar Pradesh8 November 2005
Vaduvur Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Vedanthangal Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Vellode Bird SanctuaryTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Vembanad-Kol WetlandKerala19 August 2002
Vembannur Wetland ComplexTamil Nadu8 April 2022
Wadhvana WetlandGujarat05 April 2021
Wular LakeJammu & Kashmir23 March 1990
Yashwant SagarMadhya Pradesh7 January 2022

  • Total No.of Wetlands in Kerala – 3
    • Vembanad-Kol Wetland
    • Sasthamkotta Lake
    • Ashtamudi Wetland

Amrit Dharohar Capacity Building Scheme

A special scheme announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in budget 2023 – 24 for preserving the Ramsar wetland sites in India, to enhance biodiversity, and to generate income for local communities.

📝 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.
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