Top Wetlands in India: New Ramsar Sites, Convention & Their Importance

Wetlands are an important part of nature. Being a diverse part of the  ecosystem, these play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity, ecological balance and promoting other natural processes in the environment. 

There are so many Ramsar wetland sites being recognised in India. These natural resource systems are beneficial towards achieving environmental goals along with human development. Through this article, we are going to focus on the newly added sites in India.

How many new wetlands in India: 

Recently, four new Ramsar wetland sites were recognised in India. These are Thol and Wadhwana from Gujarat alongwith Sultanpur and Bhindawas from Haryana. The total number of Ramsar sites in India is 46. Here are the things you need to know about the four new Ramsar sites in India: 

  1. Bhindawas wildlife sanctuary: This wetland is located in Haryana. It is a human made freshwater wetland. It houses over 250 bird species. It also supports more than 10 globally endangered species like steppe eagle, Egyptian vulture, pallas’s fish eagle and black-bellied tern.
  2. Thol lake wildlife sanctuary: This century lies on the Central Asian flyway located in Gujarat. It houses more than 320 bird species. It also supports more than 30 endangered waterbird species.
  3. Sultanpur National Park: This wetland is located in Haryana. It houses more than 220 species along with local migratory water birds and winter migratory birds. It also supports more than 10 globally endangered species like Egyptian vulture, lapwing, pallas’s fish eagle, black-bellied tern and saker falcon.
  4. Wadhvana wetland: This wetland is located in Gujarat. It houses migratory water birds including over 80 species. It is also home to near threatened or threatened  species.

Read Here: The most haunted fort in India

New wetlands locations:

An overview of new wetlands are shown here:

New WetlandsLocation
Sultanpur National ParkHaryana
Thol Lake Wildlife SanctuaryGujarat
Bhindawas Wildlife SanctuaryHaryana
Wadhvana WetlandGujarat

How many wetlands in India in total:

After the recognition of four more Ramsar sites in India, there are now 46 wetlands in total. Earlier, there were 42 Ramsar sites in India. The addition of new sites made the Ramsar list to reach 46 in number.The addition of the four new sites increased the wetland area coverage to 1,083,322 hectares. UNESCO declared these Ramsar sites.

Important Ramsar Wetland sites in India:

Here are the important Ramsar wetland sites in India:

  1. Nandur Madhameshwar bird sanctuary: This site is located in the Nashik district. It houses a bird sanctuary and is also known as the Bharatpur of Maharashtra. 
  2. Keshopur miani community reserve: It is located in Gurdaspur. It lies in the middle of the Ravi and Beas rivers and is a home for migratory birds.
  3. Tso Kar wetland complex: This wetland consists of two main water bodies which are: Startsapuk Tso, a freshwater lake and Tso Kar itself. It is an A1 category important bird area. This site is also one of the most important breeding areas for the near threatened black necked crane. It houses a wide range of species.
  1. Beas conservation reserve: The beas river is stretched up to 185 km from the harike headworks to talwara conservation reserve. It is known for reintroducing Gharials.
  2. Nangal wildlife sanctuary: It is located in the Roopnagar district near Sutlej river. This wetland houses endangered species along with migratory birds. 
  3. Sarsai nawar lake: It is a small and protected wetland in the Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh. It consists of two small lakes which house a large number of water birds.
  4. Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary: This wetland is located in the Unnao district. It is also known as Chandrashekhar Azad Bird Sanctuary. It welcomes many international and national migratory birds like Mallard, Purple Moorhen, Spoonbill duck and many more. 
  5. Saman Bird Sanctuary: It is situated near Bhogaon Mainpuri district near Etawah. It protects a large population of cranes in the region. It is also a home to a variety of storks.
  6. Vembanad Wetland: This wetland is spread over the districts of Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakulam and Thrissur of Kerala. It is home to more than 20,000 waterfowls in India.
  7. Asan Barrage: It is located in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand. It serves as a link of migration between the developed wildlife sanctuaries, national parks  and protected forests in the region.

Read Here: The upcoming electric cars in India

Importance of Wetlands:

  • Wetlands maintain a wide range of marine animals,  wildlife animals (endangered species as well) and plants. 
  • Various natural nutrient cycles and processes are performed in wetlands.
  • The plant communities and soil wetlands store carbon and prevent releasing it into the atmosphere.
  • Wetlands play an important role in providing various natural resources to mankind.
  • Wetlands also act as the source of tourism, transport and the well being of mankind.
  • These prevent the soil and water from erosion and also maintain the water levels.
  • Wetlands improve other ecosystems because of the cleansing benefits.
  • They purify water and also prevent floods by holding water as a sponge. 
  • Wetlands in a way helps in curbing climate change and protects the coastlines.
  • They provide a wide range of crucial resources such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharging and also providing fresh water.

Ramsar Convention:

Ramsar Convention is a significant part of the conservation strategy for the wetlands. Here is everything you need to know about Ramsar Convention: 

  • Ramsar Convention is an intergovernmental treaty introduced in 1971 by UNESCO in the Iranian city of Ramsar. Ramsar is on the southern shore of the Caspian Sea. 
  • The site is declared as a Ramsar Wetland Site in India which is of international importance. Also, it meets any one of the nine criteria set under the Convention of Wetland.
  • This convention came into force in 1982. 
  • The aim of the convention is to conserve all the wetlands and use them effectively for achieving the environmental goals along with human development. 
  • The convention ensures local and national actions along with international corporations for a  holistic sustainable development.


Which states do not have Ramsar wetland sites in India?

Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Bihar, Karnataka and other few states.

Where is the smallest wetland Ramsar site located in India?

It is located in the sirmaur district of Himachal Pradesh.

Is Sundarban a Ramsar site?


Which is the 40th Ramsar site in India?

Sur Sarovar.

Which is the smallest wetland Ramsar site in India?

Renuka wetland.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.