Ramsar Sites in India


India’s roster of Ramsar sites, wetlands recognized as of international importance, has expanded to 80, with the addition of five new sites on World Wetlands Day 2024 (i.e., February 2nd).


GS-03 (Conservation)

Main Details:

  • India has augmented its count of Ramsar sites from 75 to 80 by designating five additional wetlands as Ramsar sites.
  • Newly Designated Ramsar Sites:
    • Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve – Karnataka
    • Aghanashini Estuary – Karnataka
    • Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve – Karnataka
    • Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary – Tamil Nadu
    • Longwood Shola Reserve Forest – Tamil Nadu

Ankasamudra Bird Conservation Reserve:

  • This reservoir, established centuries ago, spans 98.76 hectares adjoining Ankasamudra village in Karnataka.
  • It boasts a diverse ecosystem with over 210 plant species, 8 mammal species, 25 reptile species, 240 bird species, 41 fish species, 3 frog species, 27 butterfly species, and 32 dragonfly species.
  • It is a crucial habitat for over 30,000 waterbirds, including significant populations of Painted Stork and Black-headed Ibis.

Aghanashini Estuary:

  • Formed at the convergence of Aghanashini River and the Arabian Sea, this estuary supports diverse ecosystem services, sustains livelihoods for thousands of families, and hosts various waterbird species including globally threatened species such as halavi guitarfish (Glaucostegus halavi), lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus) and Indian river tern (Sterna aurantia).
  • Its features include rocky and pebble shores, intertidal mudflats and some aquaculture ponds and rice fields.

Magadi Kere Conservation Reserve:

  • Constructed for rainwater storage, this wetland in Karnataka is a haven for numerous bird species, including migratory and vulnerable species like the Common Pochard and River Tern.
  • The bar-headed goose is one of the birds which migrate to Magadi wetlands.

Karaivetti Bird Sanctuary:

  • Located in Tamil Nadu, this inland wetland is a vital habitat for over 198 bird species and serves as a crucial source of groundwater recharge.
  • It is home to migratory birds such as Bar-headed goose, Northern pintail, White Stork, Northern shoveler, Garganey, Blue-winged teal, Osprey and common sandpiper.
  • The sanctuary is a large irrigation tank located in the northern alluvial plains of the Cauvery River.

Longwood Shola Reserve Forest:

  • The Site lies near the town of Kothagiri, adjacent to the eastern slopes of the Nilgiri mountain range.
  • It features intermittent freshwater marshes and streams nested within a “shola” (a tropical montane forest of southern India which is usually found in patches separated by grasslands).
  • This Site is the only natural shola forest remaining in the vicinity of Kothagiri and has very high species endemism. 
  • These forested wetlands in Tamil Nadu provide habitat for endangered and vulnerable bird species, contributing significantly to biodiversity conservation in the Western Ghats.