Five new sites have been added to the list of Ramsar sites as wetlands of international importance. The number of Ramsar wetlands of International Importance in India has reached 54. This was announced by the Union Environment Ministry, Government of India, on the 26th of June, 2022.
Three of the newly added Ramsar sites are from the Southern state of Tamilnadu, namely Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest in Chennai, Pichavaram Mangrove, and Karikili Bird Sanctuary near Chennai. The other two newly added Ramsar sites are Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh state and Pala Wetland in Mizoram state.
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Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest
Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest is located in the Chennai city. It is on the city’s outskirts and is close to Velacherry, Sholinganallur, Tambaram, etc. It is at a distance of around 20 kilometers from Chennai. It has an area of 1,247.5 hectares.
There are around 115 bird species in this area, along with other fauna. This large area of Marsh wetlands prevents flooding of the city of Chennai to a large extent.
It was declared as a Ramsar wetland of International Importance on 08-04-2022.
Pichavaram Mangrove Forests Ramsar Site
Pichavaram Mangrove forests are on the Bay of Bengal coast in the Cuddalore district. It is the second-largest mangrove forest in the world. It is spread over an area of 1,478.6 hectares.
These mangrove forests are part of the Killai Backwaters. These mangrove forests helped in resisting the devastating Tsunami in 2004. It was declared as a Ramsar site of International Importance on 08-04-2022.
Karikili Bird Sanctuary Ramsar Site
Karikili Bird Sanctuary is spread across the Chengalpattu and Kancheepuram Districts of Tamilnadu. It is located near to the Chennai city. It is spread over 58 hectares.
Karikili Bird Sanctuary was declared as a bird sanctuary in 1972. This sanctuary attracts a lot of migratory birds, starting in October or November. By the end of March next year, they return to their homeland. Most of the migratory birds are waterbirds, and some species of scavengers can also be seen. It was declared as a Ramsar site of International Importance on 08-04-2022.
Sakhya Sagar is a man-made reservoir within the Madhav National Park. It is situated on the outskirts of Shivpuri town. This reservoir is shallow, alkaline, and nutrient-rich. It is a water source for the wildlife inside the Madhav National Park. 73 bird species and many other fauna can be seen in this area.
Sakhya Sagar reservoir is spread over an area of 248 hectares. It was declared as a Ramsar site of International Importance on 07-01-2022.
Pala Wetland Ramsar Site
Pala Wetland is a natural wetland. It is situated in the Northeastern state of Mizoram. The lake inside the wetlands is known as Palak Dil or Pala Tipo. These wetlands are in the Saiha district.
It has an area of 1,850 hectares. Pala wetlandis the largest of all the newly added Ramsar wetland sites. 222 bird species and other fauna are seen in these wetlands of International Importance.
There is a deep lake with an average depth of 16 meters inside the Pala wetland. It is surrounded by hills that lie 600 meters above sea level.
Pala wetland was announced as a Ramsar wetland of International Importance on 31-08-2021.