Ramsar Sites in India 2023 - Updated List of Ramsar Sites

Five new Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance) were announced by the Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Shri Bhupender Yadav in July 2022. Thus increasing the total number of Ramsar sites to 54. The five new Ramsar sites are Karikili Bird Sanctuary, Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest and Pichavaram Mangrove in Tamil Nadu, Sakhya Sagar in Madhya Pradesh and Pala Wetlands in Mizoram.

The term was coined when the International Treaty for the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wetlands was signed at a city in Iran called Ramsar in 1971. The topic, ‘Ramsar Sites of India’ is important for the upcoming IAS Exam.

Hence, candidates should read about Ramsar Sites and the Ramsar Convention for UPSC preparation. Read on to get the relevant facts about Ramsar Sites and the list of Ramsar Sites.

Ramsar Sites in India Latest List:- Download PDF Here

Click the links below to get information on wetlands in India:

  1. Facts about Ramsar Sites in India for UPSC
  2. List of Ramsar Sites in India
  3. UPSC Questions on Indian Ramsar Sites

Latest Updates about Indian Ramsar Sites

  1. In July 2022, five new sites from India were added to the List of Ramsar Sites. The new sites are:
    1. Karikili Bird Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
    2. Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest – Tamil Nadu
    3. Pichavaram Mangrove – Tamil Nadu
    4. Sakhya Sagar – Madhya Pradesh
    5. Pala Wetlands – Mizoram
  2. Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh were announced as Ramsar sites (Wetlands of International Importance) on the occasion of World Wetland day 2022 (2nd February 2022) held at Sultanpur National Park, a Ramsar site in Haryana.
  3. Haiderpur Wetland in Uttar Pradesh has been added as the 47th Ramsar Site in December 2021. It is a human-made wetland formed in 1984 and is located within the boundaries of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.
  4. Four new sites have been added to the list of Ramsar Sites in India in August 2021. These are:
    • Sultanpur National Park – Gurugram, Haryana
    • Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary – Jhajjar, Haryana
    • Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary – Near Ahmedabad, Gujarat
    • Wadhvana Wetland – Vadodara, Gujarat
  5. In 2020, the following sites were added to the Ramsar Sites of India List:
    • December 2020 – The Tso Kar Wetland Complex was added to the list of Ramsar sites in India. This includes the high-altitude wetland complex of two connected lakes, Startsapuk Tso and Tso Kar, in Ladakh.
    • November 2020 – Maharashtra – Lonar Lake
    • November 2020 – Agra (Uttar Pradesh) – Sur Sarovar also called, Keetham Lake
    • November 2020 – Uttarakhand – Asan Barrage
    • July 2020 – Bihar – Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal
    • February 2020 – Kolkata – Sunderban Reserve Forest (Sunderban Wetlands)
  6. 2nd February 2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, the day which is also celebrated as World Wetlands Day. India on this occasion established the Centre for Wetland Conservation & Management which is the first in the country. It is set up under the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), at the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management (NCSCM) in Chennai.
  7. Sambhar Lake had been in the news for its deterioration over salt mining. Sambhar Lake is a Ramsar Site in India.

Read about Ramsar Convention, 1971 in the linked article.

Facts of Ramsar Sites & Indian Wetlands for UPSC

The table below provides relevant facts in brief useful for UPSC Exam:

Ramsar Sites in India & Indian Wetlands

What are Ramsar Sites? Any wetland site which has been listed under the Ramsar Convention that aims to conserve it and promote sustainable use of its natural resources is called a Ramsar Site.
What is the Ramsar Convention? Ramsar Convention is known as the Convention of Wetlands. It was established in 1971 by UNESCO and came into force in 1975. 
Is India a part of the Ramsar Convention? Yes, India is a party to the Ramsar Convention. India signed under it on 1st February 1982.
How many Ramsar Sites are in India? There are 54 Ramsar Sites in India [Latest]
Which is the largest Ramsar Site in India? Sundarbans is the largest Ramsar Site in India
Which is the first Ramsar Site in India? Chilika Lake (Orissa) and Keoladeo National Park (Rajasthan) were recognized as the first Ramsar Sites of India
Which Indian state has the most number of Ramsar Sites? Uttar Pradesh has the most number of Ramsar Sites in India. It has 10 Indian Wetlands.
Which is the smallest wetland in India? Renuka Wetland (Area – 20 ha) in Himachal Pradesh is the smallest wetland of India.

Other Interesting Facts about the Ramsar sites that as an IAS aspirant, you must know about:

  1. Ramsar sites are one of the major protected areas in the world.
  2. There are currently over 2400 Ramsar sites in the world covering an area of 2.5 million sq. kilometres.
  3. World’s First Ramsar site was identified in 1974, which was the Cobourg Peninsula in Australia.
  4. The United Kingdom has the world’s largest number of Ramsar Sites i.e. 175.
  5. February 2 is celebrated as International Wetlands Day, as the Ramsar Convention was signed on February 2, 1971.
  6. The Ramsar Convention works with the collaboration of the following organizations:
    1. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
    2. Birdlife International.
    3. International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
    4. Wetlands International.
    5. Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
    6. WWF International
  7. To research any of the Ramsar sites, one can check the Ramsar Sites Information Service (RSIS)
  8. The number of contracting parties for the Ramsar Convention as of October 2019 is 171.

Objective type questions based on the Ramsar Sites can be included in the prelims question paper for the civil services exam.

Aspirants preparing for UPSC 2023, should refer to the topics similar to the ‘Ramsar Wetlands in India List’ in the table below:

List of Ramsar Sites in India [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

List of Ramsar Sites in India

The Ramsar Convention was signed in 1971 with the aim of “conservation and wise use of wetlands with local, national and international cooperation for overall sustainable development of the world”.

The Ramsar sites are maintained in the Montreux Record to track any major ecological changes that might affect any of the wetland sites positively or in a reverse way.

The Ramsar convention entered into force in India on 1 February 1982.

India currently has 54 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites). This is the highest in South Asia.

List of Ramsar sites in India [Updated – July 2022]

Ramsar Sites in India State – Location
Karikili Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Pallikaranai Marsh Reserve Forest Tamil Nadu
Pichavaram Mangrove Tamil Nadu
Sakhya Sagar Madhya Pradesh
Pala Wetlands Mizoram
Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary Gujarat
Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Haiderpur Wetland Uttar Pradesh
Sultanpur National Park Haryana
Bhindawas Wildlife Sanctuary Haryana
Thol Lake Wildlife Sanctuary Gujarat
Wadhvana Wetland Gujarat
Ashtamudi Wetland Kerala
Beas Conservation Reserve Punjab
Bhitarkanika Mangroves Odisha
Bhoj Wetlands Madhya Pradesh
Chandra Taal Himachal Pradesh
Chilika Lake Odisha
Deepor Beel Assam
East Kolkata Wetlands West Bengal
Harike Wetlands Punjab
Hokera Wetland Jammu & Kashmir
Kanjli Wetland Punjab
Keoladeo National Park Rajasthan
Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve Punjab
Kolleru lake Andhra Pradesh
Loktak lake Manipur
Nalsarovar Bird sanctuary Gujarat
Nandur Madhameshwar Maharashtra
Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary Punjab
Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Point Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Pong Dam lake Himachal Pradesh
Renuka lake Himachal Pradesh
Ropar Wetland Punjab
Rudrasagar Lake Tripura
Saman Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Sambhar lake  Rajasthan
Sandi Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Sarsai Nawar Jheel Uttar Pradesh
Sasthamkotta lake Kerala
Surinsar- Mansar lakes Jammu & Kashmir
Tsomoriri Ladakh
Upper Ganga river Uttar Pradesh
Vembanad Kol Wetland Kerala
Wular lake Jammu & Kashmir
Sunderban Wetland West Bengal
Asan Barrage Uttarakhand
Kanwar Lake or Kabal Taal Bihar
Lonar Lake Maharashtra
Sur Sarovar Uttar Pradesh
Tso Kar Wetland Complex Ladakh

List of Ramsar Sites in India [UPSC Notes]:-Download PDF Here

The topic, ‘Ramsar Sites’ has a good chance to be asked in the prelims examination, and the information of the same can also be used while answering questions on environmental concerns, actions, issues etc covered in the UPSC CSE Syllabus of GS Paper-III.

UPSC aspirants must learn from the experience and preparation strategy of previous years’ IAS Toppers while preparing for the prelims exam.

Related Links:

UPSC Questions on Ramsar Sites in India

How is Ramsar Site declared, and who declares it?

Ramsar Sites in India are declared under the Ramsar Convention, which was established by UNESCO in 1971. A site is declared as a Ramsar Wetland Site in India if it meets any one of the nine criteria set under the Convention of Wetland.

How many Ramsar Sites are there?

There are a total of 2400 Ramsar Sites in the world, including 54 Ramsar sites in India.

Which is the largest Ramsar Site in India?

Sundarbans is the largest Ramsar Site in India.

Which is the smallest Ramsar Site in India?

Renuka Wetland (0.2 sq. km) of Himachal Pradesh is the smallest Ramsar Site in India, followed by Chandertal Wetland (0.49 sq. km) in Himachal Pradesh.

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