Wetlands in India


wetlands in India

Wetlands in India are areas where water is the primary factor controlling the environment and the associated plant and animal life.

They occur where the water table is at or near the surface of the land, or where the land is covered by water. Once treated as transitional habitats or seral stages in succession from open water to land, the wetlands are now considered to be distinct ecosystems with specific ecological characteristics, functions and values.

Wetlands in India is very rich in wetland habitats exhibiting different ecological diversities, climatic conditions and changing topography.

A great number of these wetland habitats have been affected by various human impacts but realising the crucial role of the wetlands in ground water recharge, ground water discharge, flood storage and desynchronization, shoreline anchoring and dissipation of erosive forces, sediment traping, nutrient retention and removal, food chain support, habitat for fisheries, habitat for wild life, active recreation, passive recreation and heritage value.

Wetlands in India On the basis of topographical variation, Indian Wetlands are of four major types-

1) Himalayan Wetlands

2) Wetlands in the Gangetic plain

3) Wetlands in the desert

4) Coastal Wetlands.

Related image

Along the 7,500 km coast line of India, there is a great diversity of wetland habitat with lagoons, estuaries, mangrove swamps and coral reefs.

Among the coastal wetlands, coastal lagoons are the shallow coastal water bodies separated from the ocean by a barrier connected at least intermittently to the ocean by one or more restricted inlets and usually oriented parallel to shore

Coastal lagoons are usually found on low-lying coasts and are normally aligned with their largest diameter parallel to the seashore.  A number of lagoons are distributed all along the East and the West Coasts of India.  There are 17 noteworthy lagoons in Indian coast with 8 on the east and 9 on the west.

Related Topics  Protected Areas of India


The 8 important coastal lagoons in the east are: 

1) Chilka Lagoon

2) Pulicat lagoon

3)  Pennar  lagoon

4) Bendi lagoon

5) Nizampatnam lagoon

6)  Muttukadu Lagoon

7) Muthupet lagoon and

8) Gulf of Mannar Lagoon.

The 9 important coastal lagoons in the West are:

1) Vembanand lagoon

2)  Ashtamudi Lagoon

3) Paravur lagoon

4)  Ettikulum  Lagoon

5)  Veli  lagoon

6)  Murkumpuzha lagoon

7) Talapady lagoon

8) Lagoons of Bombay coast and

9) Lakshadweep Lagoons (Kavaratti  and  Minicoy Lagoon).

Out of several wetlands in India, Chilka lake in the state of Orissa was designated as Ramsar site in 1991 as an internationally important of waterfowl habitat.

Six Ramsar sites

Chilka Lake (Orissa),

chilka lake

Keoladeo Ghana National Park (Rajasthan),

Wular Lake (Kashmir),

Harik Lake (Punjab),

Loktak Lake (Manipur)

Sambar Lake (Rajasthan)

Chilka Lake is the largest one and unique of its kind for its magnificent biological diversity, ecological complexity and sustainability.

This vast water body spreading over an area of 1100 sq. km harbours innumerable number of both floral and faunal components. It is a haven for migratory birds, having 159 species/subspecies.

More than 800 species of animals are reported from this lake and its vicinity by Zoological Survey of India.

About 225 species of fish have been reported from this lake.  On the banks of the lake there are 8 fairly large towns and 122 villages. About 70% of this population depend upon fishing as the only means of livelihood.

Wetlands in India

S.No. Name of State/UT S. No. Name of Wetlands
1. Andhra Pradesh  1. Kolleru
2. Assam 2. Deepar Beel
3. Urpad Beel
4. Sone Beel
3. Bihar 5. Kabar
6. Barilla
7. Kusheshwar Asthan
4. Gujarat 8. Nalsarovar
9. Great Rann of Kachh
10. Thol Bird Sanctuary
11. Khijadiya Bird Sanctuary
12. Little Rann of Kachh
13. Pariej
14. Wadhwana
15. Nanikakrad
5. Haryana 16. Sultanpur
17. Bhindawas
6. Himachal Pradesh 18. Renuka
19. Pong Dam
20. Chandratal
21. Rewalsar
22. Khajjiar
7. Jammu & Kashmir 23. Wullar
24. Tso Morari
25. Tisgul Tso & Chisul Marshes
26. Hokersar
27. Mansar-Surinsar
28. Ranjitsagar
29. Pangong Tsar
30. Gharana
31. Hygam
32. Mirgund
33. Shalbugh
34. Chushul & Hanley
8. Jharkhand 35. Udhwa
36. Tilaiya Dam
9. Karnataka 37. Magadhi
38. Gudavi Bird Sanctuary
39. Bonal
40. Hidkal & Ghataprabha
41. Heggeri
42. Ranganthittu
43. K.G. Koppa wetland
10. Kerala 44. Ashtamudi
45. Sasthamkotta
46. Kottuli
47. Kadulandi
48. Vembnad Kol
11. Madhya Pradesh 49. Barna
50. Yashwant Sagar
51. Wetland of Ken River
52. National Chambal Sanct.
53. Ghatigaon
54. Ratapani
55. Denwa Tawa wetland
56. Kanha Tiger Reserve
57. Pench Tiger Reserve
58. Sakhyasagar
59. Dihaila
60. Govindsagar
61. Sirpur
12. Maharashtra 62. Ujni
63. Jayakawadi
64. Nalganga wetland
13. Manipur 65. Loktak
14. Meghalaya 66. Umiam
15. Mizoram 67. Tamdil
68. Palak
16. Orissa 69. Chilka
70. Kuanria wetland
71. Kanjia wetland
72. Daha wetland
73. Anusupa
17. Pondicherry 74. Ousteri lake
18. Punjab 75. Harike
76. Ropar
77. Kanjli
78. Nangal
19. Rajasthan 79. Sambhar
20. Sikkim 80. Khechuperi Holy Lake
81. Tamze Wetland
82. Tembao Wetland Complex
83. Phendang Wetland Complex
84. Gurudokmar Wetland
85. Tsomgo wetland
21. Tamil Nadu 86. Point Calimer
87. Kaliveli
88. Pallaikarni
22. Tripura 89. Rudrasagar
90. Gumti reservoir
23. Uttar Prdaesh. 91. Nawabganj
92. Sandi
93. Lakh Bahoshi
94. Samaspur
95. Alwara Wetland
96. Semarai Lake
97. Nagaria lake
98. Keetham Lake
99. Shekha wetland
100. Saman Bird Sanctuary
101. Sarsai Nawar
102. Patna Bird Sanctuary
103. Chando wetland, Basti
104. Tal-Baghel wetland
105. Taal Ganbhirvan & Taal Salona
106. Aadi jal Jeev Jheel
24. Uttaranchal 107. Ban Ganga Jhilmil Tal
108. Asan
25. West Bengal 109. East Calcutta Wetland
110. Sunderbans
111. Ahiron Beel
112. Rasik Beel
113. Santragachi
114. Patlakhawa-Rasomati
26. UT (Chandigarh) 115. Sukhna
Related Topics  Kasturi Rangan Committee on National Education Policy


National Wetlands Atlas

Plant Diversity in India

Ecology & Environment

Raja Raja Cholan



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