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Haiderpur Wetlands: de-watering impacting the endangered species!

According to Ramsar sites, Haiderpur wetland is a human-made wetland that was formed in 1984 by the construction of the Madhya Ganga Barrage

By nayanikaphukan
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haiderpur wetland conservation

According to Ramsar sites, Haiderpur wetland is a human-made wetland that was formed in 1984 by the construction of the Madhya Ganga Barrage on a floodplain of the River Ganga. This wetland is located inside the boundaries of Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.

haiderpur wetland map
Courtesy: NMCG

Biodiversity

This wetland is the habitat of more than 15 globally threatened species. Furthermore, the site also serves as a breeding site for the near-threatened Indian grass bird. Additionally, the wetland is also home to wild species such as otters, jackals, crocodiles, turtles, fishing cats, Burmese pythons, and swamp deer.

Water drainage and illegal harvesting

As per the Haiderpur Wetland account on Facebook, in January ill-timed drainage of water from the wetland forced 35,000+ migratory water birds to fly away, including many endangered species that make this wetland their home in winter.

The Hindustan times reported that drainage of water was done under the pressure from farmers who complain of water logging in their fields due to high groundwater levels. In response to the report, the Environmental Ministry officials directed the state government to stop any further draining of water.

Read more: Govt steps in to stop Haiderpur wetland’s dewatering | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

In February a user on Twitter highlighted how the Haiderpur Wetland is again endangered after a month and the grasslands are destroyed by illegal harvesting inside the protected area. Satellite images also show grasslands being cleared and converted to farmlands.

In 2021, the Haiderpur Wetland was added to the list of Indian Wetlands of International Importance. However, there have been very minimal efforts by the government to conserve this human-made wetland.

Conclusion 

With the recent launch of the Amrit Dharohar Scheme, we can only hope that the state of the wetlands will improve over the next three years. And, also help in the conservation and protection of endangered wetlands.

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