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Ramsar Sites UPSC NOTE

 Why in news

  • The Union government has embarked on a mission to promote tourism at ecologically sensitive wetlands, better known as Ramsar sites, such as the Chilika lake in Odisha and Sultanpur bird sanctuary in Haryana

  • The focus of the initiative would be to shift these fragile wetlands from high-value tourism to nature tourism by directly supporting conservation action and letting local communities and economies take the lead.

Ramsar sites – Basic details

  • Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance designated under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental treaty for the conservation and wise use of wetlands.

  • Wetlands play a vital role in the environment, providing habitat for a variety of plants and animals, regulating water flow, and filtering pollutants

  • Ramsar sites are particularly important because they are recognized as being of global significance for their ecological values.

  • As of October 2023, there are 2,500 Ramsar sites around the world, covering over 2.5 million square kilometers (635 million acres)

  • These sites are found in 172 countries, representing a wide range of wetland types,

  • Marine and coastal wetlands: such as salt marshes, mangroves, and seagrass meadows

  • Inland wetlands: such as lakes, rivers, swamps, and marshes

  • Human-made wetlands: such as rice paddies, reservoirs, and fishponds

Chilika lake

  • Chilika Lake is located in Odisha, on the east coast

  • It spreads across the Puri, Khurda, and Ganjam districts.

  • Chilika Lake is a brackish water lagoon, meaning it's a mix of fresh and saltwater

  • This is because it's fed by several rivers and streams.

  • it's also connected to the Bay of Bengal through a narrow channel.

  • Chilika Lake is the largest brackish water lagoon in Asia.

  • The second largest lagoon in the world. 

  • Its area varies depending on the season, ranging from about 900 square kilometers (347 sq mi) in the summer to 1,165 square kilometers (450 sq mi) in the monsoon season.

  • Biodiversity: Chilika Lake is a haven for biodiversity, with over 500 species of birds, 335 species of fish, and many other plants and animals. 

  • It's a particularly important wintering ground for migratory birds, with some species traveling long distances from as far away as Siberia

  • The lake is also home to the endangered Irrawaddy dolphin.

  • Importance: Chilika Lake is not only important for its ecological value, but also for its cultural and economic significance

  • It supports a thriving fishing industry and is a popular tourist destination

  • The lake is also a Ramsar site, recognized by the Ramsar Convention as a wetland of international importance.

Sultanpur bird sanctuary

  • Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, now officially known as Sultanpur National Park, is a protected area located in the Gurgaon district of Haryana

  • It lies roughly 46 kilometers from Delhi and 15 kilometers from Gurgaon.

  • This lush haven boasts a man-made lake surrounded by trees, shrubs, and vibrant bougainvillea, creating a picturesque landscape for birders and nature lovers alike.

  • Sultanpur is celebrated for its diverse birdlife, attracting over 250 species throughout the year.

  • Around 90 migratory bird species grace the sanctuary during winter months, seeking warmth and refuge. 

  • From elegant painted storks and flamboyant Indian rollers to playful pied kingfishers and majestic grey hornbills, there's a feathered friend around every corner.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Ramsar Sites UPSC NOTE
Ramsar Sites UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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