Begusarai wetland has become Bihar’s first and India’s 39th place of international importance.

Begusarai wetland has become Bihar’s first and India’s 39th place of international importance.

NEW DELHI: Kabertal, a freshwater contingent in Begusarai district, has become Bihar’s first wetland site under the Ramsar Convention – an inter-governmental global treaty to preserve the ecological character of selected wetlands worldwide.
With this, India now has 39 Ramsar sites – the highest in South Asia – with 2,412 such designated wetlands worldwide. These 39 Wetlands of international importance cover a surface area of ​​10,700 square kilometers, an area the size of Sikkim and Goa.
Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Thursday, while sharing information about the creation of Wetland as a Ramsagar site, tweeted, “This (Kabral) is an important wetland of the Central Asian flyway for migratory birds and biodiversity populations.”
Under the 1971 Ramsar (Iran) Convention, member countries identify sites that may be important not only to the country or countries in which they are located, but to humanity as a whole for their environmental services and For rich biodiversity.
Wetlands – land areas covered by water, seasonally or permanently – play an important role in flood control and as sources of water, food, fiber, and raw materials. In addition, such land areas also support migratory birds from the cold regions of the world in summer. Wetlands also support mangroves that protect coastlines and filter pollutants.
Kabartal Wetland, also known as Kanwar Jhel, covers about 26 sq km of the Indo-Gangetic plains. The site is one of 18 wetlands under widespread flooding in North Bihar. It floods to a depth of 1.5 m during the monsoon season.
“Wetland (Kabartal) is an important stop along the Central Asian flyway, where 58 migratory waterfowlers use it to relax and refuel. It is also a valuable site for biodiversity of fish with over 50 species documented.
Kabartal has recorded significant biodiversity including 221 bird species with 165 plant species and 394 animal species. Five critically endangered species, including three vultures and two waterbirds, inhabit the site.
Major wetlands of India under Ramsar Convention include Chilika Lake Area (Odisha), Wular Lake (J & K), Nal Sarovar (Gujarat), Harika (Punjab), Renuka (Himachal Pradesh), Sambhar Lake (Rajasthan), Deepor Beal (Assam). ), East Kolkata wetlands (West Bengal), Rudra Sagar (Tripura) and Bhoja wetlands (Madhya Pradesh).
India’s space agency, ISRO, came out in 2011 with a national wetland atlas based on satellite image mapping over two lakh Wetland covering about 4.63% of the country’s total geographical area.

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