Wetland Conservation

Two bird sanctuaries of Bihar added to Ramsar List


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Nagi-Nakti Wetland, Ramsar Convention

Why in the News?

Two wetlands in Bihar, Nagi and Nakti bird sanctuaries, have been added to the global list of wetlands of international importance under the “Ramsar Convention”, bringing India’s total Ramsar sites to 82.

Do you know?

  • Currently, the highest number of such sites is in the UK (175) followed by Mexico (144).
  • The number of Indian sites on the list has increased from 26 to 82 in the last ten years, of which 40 have been added in the last three years.

About Nagi-Nakti Wetland

  • These wetlands, situated in Bihar’s Jamui district within the Jhajha forest range, are man-made reservoirs nestled amid dry deciduous forests and hills.
  • Both sanctuaries were developed as man-made reservoirs, primarily for irrigation purposes, through the construction of dams.
  • These wetlands host a diverse range of flora and fauna, including over 150 species of birds, mammals, fish, aquatic plants, reptiles, and amphibians.

Nakti Bird Sanctuary:

  • It was developed primarily for irrigation through the construction of the Nakti dam.
  • In 1984, the wetland was designated as a bird sanctuary, highlighting its importance as a wintering habitat for several migratory species, with over 20,000 birds congregating during winter months.
  • This includes one of the largest congregations of red-crested pochard in the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Nagi Bird Sanctuary:

  • It was, on the other hand, created by the damming of the Nagi River, which enabled the gradual formation of water bodies with clear water and aquatic vegetation.
  • Overall, the wetland and its fringes provide habitat for over 75 bird species, 33 fish, and 12 aquatic plants.
  • Notably, the site hosts one of the largest congregations of bar-headed geese in the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Ecological Significance

  • Migratory Bird Haven: The sanctuaries serve as critical wintering habitats for numerous migratory bird species, attracting over 20,000 birds during the winter months.
  • Species Diversity: Nagi and Nakti sanctuaries support a rich biodiversity, including over 75 bird species, 33 fish species, and 12 aquatic plant species.
  • Bar-headed Geese Congregation: Notably, the wetlands host one of the largest gatherings of bar-headed geese on the Indo-Gangetic plain, highlighting their importance as migratory bird habitats.

Back2Basics: Ramsar Convention

Purpose International treaty aimed at conserving and promoting the sustainable use of wetlands.
Establishment Established on February 2, 1971, in Ramsar, Iran.
Key Components
  • Identifying and designating wetlands of international importance.
  • Ensuring their effective management.
  • Promoting international cooperation for wetland conservation and sustainable use.
9 Criteria for Sites Declaration
  1. A site should contain representative, rare, or unique wetland types.
  2. It should support vulnerable, endangered, or endemic species.
  3. It should be a habitat for waterfowl.
  4. It should have significant ecological, botanical, zoological, limnological, or hydrological features.
  5. It should support scientific research and biodiversity conservation.
  6. It should provide essential services such as flood control, water purification, and groundwater recharge.
  7. It should have cultural, recreational, or spiritual value for local communities.
  8. It should support sustainable livelihoods for human communities.
  9. It should be at risk or face human-induced threats that require international cooperation for conservation.
Participating Countries 171 contracting parties (countries) as of September 2021.
India and Ramsar Convention  The first Ramsar Site in India, the Chilika Lake in Odisha, was designated in 1981.
Ramsar Secretariat The convention is administered by the Ramsar Secretariat, based in Gland, Switzerland.
World Wetlands Day
  • February 2nd of each year.
  • To raise awareness about the importance of wetlands and commemorate the adoption of the Ramsar Convention.
Montreux Record Register of wetland sites on the List of Wetlands of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention that require special attention.



[2014] If a wetland of international importance is brought under the ‘Montreux Record’, what does it imply?

(a) Changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur in the wetland as a result of human interference.

(b) The country in which the wetland is located should enact a law to prohibit any human activity within five kilometres of the edge of the wetland

(c) The survival of the wetland depends on the cultural practices and traditions of certain communities living in its vicinity and therefore the cultural diversity therein should not be destroyed

(d) It is given the status of ‘World Heritage Site’

[2019] Consider the following statements:

  1. Under Ramsar Convention, it is mandatory on the part of the Government of India to protect and conserve all the wetlands in the territory of India.
  2. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 were framed by the Government of India based on the recommendations of the Ramsar Convention.
  3. The Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2010 also encompass the drainage area or catchment regions of the wetlands as determined by the authority.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 2 and 3 only

(c) 3 only

(d) 1, 3 and 3

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