This World Wetlands Day, know all about the 3 Ramsar Sites in Maharashtra!

This World Wetlands Day, know all about the 3 Ramsar Sites in Maharashtra!

join us in celebrating the ecological significance of these wetlands.

On February 2, celebrate World Wetlands Day by learning about Maharashtra's Ramsar Sites.

These sites are wetland areas, that have been designated as 'internationally significant', under the Ramsar Convention. This convention was inspired by the Iranian city of Ramsar and provides a worldwide framework for protecting and prudently using wetlands and their resources. India's total tally of Ramsar sites stands at 80, as of 2024.

From Lonar Lake, the country's sole hyper-alkaline lake, to the pristine Nandur Madhmeshwar, and Thane Creek with brackish waters and mangrove forests - Maharashtra's Ramsar Sites serve as vital sanctuaries for migratory birds, aquatic life, and indigenous flora. Join us in celebrating the ecological significance of these wetlands as we tell you about their conservation, on this special occasion.

Nandur Madhmeshwar

Nestled in the Niphad Tehsil of the Nashik District, the Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary is known as the 'Bharatpur of Maharashtra'. This sanctuary was designated as the first Ramsar site in Maharashtra in January 2020 and is of grave ecological significance. It features a well-planned stone bridge over the Godavari River and is home to a variety of bird species.

The sanctuary's Ramsar designation highlights its commitment to the conservation of wetlands, making it a vital habitat for migratory birds and contributing to the rich biodiversity of Maharashtra.

Lonar Lake

A meteorite impact on basalt bedrock once, created a nearly circular endorheic basin that is now home to Lonar Lake, a geological wonder on the Deccan Plateau. In November 2020, Lonar Lake, which comprises the lake, striking crater walls, and surrounding forested areas, was designated as a Ramsar site. The lake faces environmental obstacles like high salinity and alkalinity despite its unique characteristics.

The Ramsar Convention's declaration underscores the risks associated with household sewage, urban wastewater, and unsustainable tourism, urging collective efforts to preserve this exceptional natural site.

Thane Creek

Thane Creek has been recognised as 'India's first Ramsar site within a metropolis', since 2022. Located along the Central Asian Flyway, it's one of Asia's biggest creeks and an important stopover for birds in migration. This sanctuary, which is part of the Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW), is acknowledged as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) and is home to numerous significant bird species. Floods, cyclones, and seawater intrusions are prevented by Thane Creek's mangrove forests, which are nourished by brackish waters, fed by multiple freshwater sources.

This site's diverse ecosystem includes birds, fish, crustaceans, molluscs, butterflies, and flora. Species like the vulnerable Sulawesi Fruit Bat, Mozambique Tilapia, River Tern, and the endangered Great Knot, spotlight Thane Creek's pivotal role in conservation and climate resilience.

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