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Two Human-made wetlands Nagi & Nakti of Bihar added to Ramsar list

Nagi and Nakti Bird Sanctuaries in Bihar are now Ramsar Sites, raising India's count to 82. This recognition emphasizes their ecological importance and supports wetland conservation, benefiting migratory birds and biodiversity

By Ground report
New Update
Two Human-made wetlands Nagi & Nakti of Bihar added to Ramsar list

Photo credit: naginaktibirdsanctuary

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The Nagi and Nakti Bird Sanctuaries, nestled in the Jhajha forest range in Bihar's Jamui district, have been designated as Ramsar Sites. They join the prestigious list of wetlands of global importance, elevating India's tally to 82 Ramsar Sites. This ranks India third alongside China, trailing the United Kingdom and Mexico.

The Ramsar Convention, an environmental treaty established in 1971, provides a framework for wetland conservation and sustainable utilization. India reaffirms its commitment to protecting these vital ecosystems that sustain biodiversity, regulate water cycles, and mitigate climate change by adding these two sanctuaries to the Ramsar list.

Two wetlands of Bihar added to Ramsar list

The Nagi Bird Sanctuary spans 791 hectares, emerging from the damming of the Nagi River. The waters formed clear pools and lush vegetation, creating a haven for migratory and resident birds. Recognized as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) by BirdLife International, it hosts over 75 bird species, including the bar-headed geese, congregating in one of the largest gatherings on the Indo-Gangetic plain.

During the winter months, from October to April, the sanctuary becomes a vibrant canvas of feathered visitors. Flocks of bar-headed geese, greylag geese, northern pintails, and red-crested pochards descend upon the sanctuary from far-flung regions such as the Himalayas, Europe, North Asia, and the Arctic Circle. Their arrival is an impressive sight, as the skies fill with the graceful movements of these winged travelers.

Nakti Bird Sanctuary: Jewel of the Jhajha Forest

Just a short distance away, the 333-hectare Nakti Bird Sanctuary stands as a testament to the region's ecological richness. This wetland has evolved into a thriving habitat for over 150 species of birds, mammals, fish, aquatic plants, reptiles, and amphibians, originally developed for irrigation through the Nakti Dam. Notable residents include the endangered Indian elephant and the vulnerable native catfish, highlighting the sanctuary's role in preserving biodiversity.

In 1984, the Nakti Bird Sanctuary was officially designated as a protected area due to its significance as a wintering ground for migratory species. Over 20,000 birds, including a large congregation of the red-crested pochard, visit during the winter months, attracting birders and nature enthusiasts eager to witness avian diversity.

These two sanctuaries are nestled in dry deciduous forests and surrounded by hills. They are critical stopover sites for migratory birds, providing respite and nourishment during their journeys. The wetlands act as reservoirs, supporting water demands and offering recreational opportunities for birdwatching and nature appreciation.

Recognizing Nagi and Nakti as Ramsar Sites is a testament to the collaborative efforts of local communities, conservationists, and government agencies in Bihar. They've ensured the preservation of these wetlands for future generations by raising awareness and promoting sustainable practices.

Full List of Ramsar sites in India

Ramsar Sites in India State – Location
Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve Karnataka
Aghanashini Estuary Karnataka
Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve Karnataka
Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Longwood Shola Reserve Forest Tamil Nadu
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 Lake 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
Nanda Lake Goa
Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary Gujarat
Hokersar Wetland Jammu & Kashmir
Hygam Wetland Conservation Reserve Jammu & Kashmir
Shallbugh Wetland Conservation Reserve Jammu & Kashmir
Surinsar-Mansar Lakes Jammu & Kashmir
Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary Karnataka
Sirpur Lake Madhya Pradesh
Yashwant Sagar Madhya Pradesh
Thane Creek Maharashtra
Ansupa Lake Odisha
Hirakud Reservoir Odisha
Satkosia Gorge Odisha
Chitrangudi Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Gulf of Mannar Marine Biosphere Reserve Tamil Nadu
Kanjirankulam Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Koonthankulam Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Pallikarnai Marsh Reserve Forest Tamil Nadu
Suchindram Theroor Wetland Complex Tamil Nadu
Udhayamarthandapuram Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Vadavur Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Vellode Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Vembannur Wetland Complex Tamil Nadu
Vellode Bird Sanctuary Tamil Nadu
Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary Uttar Pradesh
Sundarban Wetland West Bengal
Nagi Bird Sanctuary Bihar
Nakti Bird Sanctuary Bihar

Victory for conservation efforts in India

Arvind Mishra, a Bihar-based bird expert and member of the Governing Council of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), expressed his joy at the news. He stated, "I am overjoyed with the announcement of designating Nagi Bird Sanctuary and Nakti Bird Sanctuary as the new 81st and 82nd Ramsar Sites in India. I am thankful to the top officials of the Bihar Forest, Environment and Climate Change Department for this recognition."

Mishra highlighted the sanctuaries' significance. He noted that they attract hundreds of migratory birds during the winter, including critically endangered species. "Two years ago, the department finalized proposals for five wetlands in the state to be sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) for Ramsar Sites designation," he added.

As these sanctuaries gain global recognition, there is a growing need to balance sustainable tourism and preserving delicate ecosystems. Efforts to develop eco-friendly infrastructure, educational programs, and awareness campaigns are underway to ensure visitors appreciate the natural wonders without harming the habitats.

Designating Nagi and Nakti as Ramsar Sites is a victory for conservation efforts in India. It highlights the country's commitment to preserving its natural heritage and the essential role wetlands play in sustaining life. As these winged jewels grace Bihar's skies, their protection becomes a shared responsibility, ensuring future generations witness the spectacle of migratory birds.

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