Bihar's Nagi & Nakti bird sanctuaries added to Ramsar list, India's wetlands rise to 82

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) India has added two bird sanctuaries from Bihar -- Nagi and Nakti -- to the ‘Ramsar Sites’ list, taking the tally to 82, according to a top official.

The newest 'Wetlands of International Importance', both man-made reservoirs situated in the Jhajha forest range of Jamui District in Bihar, were added to Ramsar Sites as part of World Environment Day‌, observed annually on June 5.

The two catchments feature dry deciduous forests surrounded by hills. “On #WorldEnvironmentDay‌ Nagi & Nakti bird sanctuaries in #Jamui district of #Bihar have been declared as Wetlands of International importance -Ramsar Sites. This will help in our bird conservation efforts,” Bandana Preyashi, the Secretary of the Department of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (DEFCC) of Bihar, said in a post on X.

With the two sites, India now equals China in terms of Ramsar Sites.

Both countries have 82 recognised waterlogged ecosystems in the country. The UK with 175 has the highest number of such sites, followed by Mexico (144).

Nakti bird sanctuary (Site no. 2546 on the ‘Ramsar List’) was developed primarily for irrigation through the construction of Nakti Dam and was designated as a bird sanctuary in 1984.

It has provided a habitat for over 150 species of birds, mammals, fish, aquatic plants, reptiles and amphibians. The list also includes globally threatened species -- Indian elephant (Elephas maximus indicus) and native catfish (Wallago attu).

It also hosts over 20,000 birds congregating during winter months, including one of the largest congregations of red-crested pochard (Netta rufina) on the Indo-Gangetic plain.

Nagi Bird Sanctuary (Site no. 2545) was created following the construction of a dam on the Nagi River.

It was recognised locally as a bird sanctuary in 1984, and internationally as an Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA) by BirdLife International.

Threatened migratory species at the Site include the critically endangered Baer’s pochard (Aythya baeri) and the endangered steppe eagle (Aquila nipalensis).

The wetland provides habitat for over 75 bird species, 33 fish, and 12 aquatic plants and hosts one of the largest congregations of bar-headed goose (Anser indicus) on the Indo-Gangetic plain.


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