Jamnagar's Khijadia bird sanctuary declared Ramsar site

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Jamnagar’s Khijadia Bird Sanctuary Declared Ramsar Site

| Updated: February 2, 2022 18:42

Jamnagar’s Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary has been declared as the new Ramsar site on World Wetland Day. A Ramsar Site is a wetland site designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

Arti Kanwar Resident Commissioner, Gujarat received the designation certificate of Khijadia Wildlife Sanctuary on behalf of the Government of Gujarat from Union Minister Bhupender Yadav during an event organized at Sultanpur National Park, Gurugram.

Khijadia Bird Sanctuary is unique having both freshwater lakes, salt and freshwater marshlands. It is spread over an area of 6.05 km. Before Indian independence, a check dam was built for storing the waters of river Ruparel just before it entered the sea. Over the years with the freshwater of the rain and river on one side and salt water of the sea on the other side, a unique area was formed here. Khijadia Bird Sanctuary is located at the watershed of the Ruparel river and Kalindri at the North East coastal region of Jamnagar district in the Gulf of Kutch and has a very special and unique ecosystem.

Besides, Khijadia WildLife Sanctuary, Bakhira Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttar Pradesh was also declared as the Ramsar site. The Space Application Centre (SAC) Atlas on Wetland of India (Physically) was also released during the event.

February 2nd is commemorated as the signing of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance in 1971 in the city of Ramsar (Iran), aimed to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and the planet by UNESCO.

Spread across a sprawling 605 hectares, this haven for birds is located on the south bank of the Gulf of Kutch, about 10 km northeast of Jamnagar. The green cover is hemmed in by freshwater lakes, salt ravines and marshlands. These creeks support mangroves and other marine vegetation, while on the land side of the sanctuary inland vegetation abounds.  Further, as the sanctuary is located near Narara Island, it has a bio-diversified coral reef

At least 257 to 300 types of migratory birds visit the sanctuary each year. The noted Indian ornithologist, Salim Ali reported seeing 104 species on a single day.

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