7 Key Wetlands in India
Wetlands in India are places where water covers the soil or is present at or close to the soil’s surface all year long or intermittently throughout the year, including during the growing season.
Wetlands in India are essential for preserving numerous natural cycles and providing habitat for various wildlife. They offer the fish and grains that feed billions while also cleaning and replenishing our water resources. They defend our coastlines and act as a natural sponge against flooding and drought. Besides, they also contribute to the fight against climate change. Wetlands, which are teeming with species, are an essential method of storing carbon.
The Ramsar Convention, which was signed in 1971 at Ramsar, Iran, includes India as one of its Contracting Parties. On February 1st, 1982, India signed it. A total of 26 sites were added to the list of Ramsar sites between 1982 and 2013. However, between 2014 and 2022, added 49 more to the list of wetlands in India.
Following is the list of Wetlands in India
Tampura Lake, Odisha
A natural body of water called the Tampara Lake has been embanked all the way around so that people can stroll along it and relax. The Tamapara neighborhood in which Tampara Lake is located gave rise to its name. The Gopalpur beach is located on NH16. However, Tampara Lake, also a part of the Ganjam district, is closer if approached from the NH5 highway. Outside the edges of planned settlement areas in the city and town, it is a tranquil and serene region. It is completely shut off from the bustle and noise of daily life. Very suitable for spending an indefinite amount of time alone and privately in a natural setting without any unwanted intrusion.
The world’s longest earthen dam spans the mighty river Mahanadi and drains an area more than twice the size of Sri Lanka at 1,33,090 square kilometers. It is located about 15 kilometers north of Sambalpur. The majority of the Hirakud dam is made up of enough dirt, concrete, and masonry to pave a road 8 meters wide from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and from Amritsar to Dibrugarh in Assam.
With a surface area of 746 sq km and a shoreline of 640 km, Hirakund Dam is one of the wetlands in India. It creates the largest artificial lake in Asia from horizon to horizon. A wonderful sensation of serene tranquillity and the beauty of nature can be had after driving on the dyke for twenty-one kilometers. From the top of the rotating minaret known as Gandhi Minar, one can take in the view of the impressive Hirakud dam and the magnificent expanse of water.
Ansupa is 50 kilometers from Cuttack. It is situated in the midst of the state highway that runs between the Banki and Athagarh blocks of the Cuttack district. It is the largest freshwater lake in Odisha, covering 382 km. The lake’s name comes from the way it looks, which resembles a horseshoe (Ansupa). The lake’s numerous colors throughout the rainy season provide a stunning spectacle. The migratory birds’ presence during the winter adds to the lake’s vitality. The boating amenities are an additional draw.
The historic fort ruins are perched atop Saranda hill next to the lake. It contributes to the area’s attractiveness and offers a birds-eye perspective of the lake. Although the fort’s beginnings are unclear, one of the more well-known traditions is that the King of Saranda decided to erect a fort on the summit to ensure his safety. All that is left today are the Baruda Ghar (munitions store), two wells, and the metal door entry to the fort, together with a few structural fragments.
Yashwant Sagar, Indore
In order to supply agricultural water and drinking water to the Indore region, this freshwater reservoir was constructed in the Gambhir river basin in the 1930s. It has also been utilized for commercial aquaculture in more recent years. One of the most significant places for birdwatching in the area is this marsh. It is recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA). A vast number of migrating birds, including the endangered Sarus crane, use the marsh as a nesting, breeding, and feeding habitat when the water freezes over in the winter (Grus Antigone).
Along with various flora and fauna, it supports about 239 different bird species and 39 different fish species. The wetland is noted for its beauty. It is a key component in preserving the region’s hydrological system, drawing thousands of tourists there each year. It is regarded for scientific investigation as well.
Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, Tamil Nadu
The Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu is home to the Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary, sometimes referred to as “Chitrangudi Kanmoli” locally. The wetland has been declared a protected area since 1989. It is governed by the Ramanathapuram division of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department.
Winter migrating birds thrive in the Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary. A total of 50 birds from 30 different families have been recorded at the location. Three land birds and 47 aquatic birds are present. Spot-billed pelicans, small egrets, grey herons, large egrets, open-billed storks, purple, and pond herons are notable waterbirds that have been seen nearby.
Thane Creek, Maharashtra
Thane Creek, which is close to Mumbai, Maharashtra, is a prized element of the city. It is well known for its allure of nature. The Bombay Natural History Society recognizes the region as an Important Bird Area and wetlands in India. It is because of the wide range of migratory bird species that can be found there. Avocets, Northern Shoveler, Grey Heron, Egrets, Plovers, Sandpipers, Black-headed Ibis, Whimbrels, and occasionally a crab lurking in the creek can all be seen in this teeming area. A wonderful setting for adventurers, serious birdwatchers, photographers, and nature lovers is Thane Creek’s panoramic views of lush green mangroves and magnificent wildlife. October to March is the ideal season to visit Thane Creek.
Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve, Jammu, and Kashmir
Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve is located west of Anchar Lake in the delta of the Sindh River. Rainfall, snowfall from the Kashmir Himalayas, stream water flowing from the Sindh river, and lake water from Anchar are the main sources of water for this shallow wetland. Together, it and the nearby Hokera Wetland, another Ramsar Site, make up an essential aquatic environment in this area. More than 21 species of resident and migratory birds use its huge reed beds and floating water vegetation as crucial habitats.
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