Faunal Composition of Ramsar Wetlands from India: An Analysis
Keywords:Wetlands, Ramsar Sites, Biodiversity, Mann ki Baat, Fauna component
Ramsar Sites are wetlands of international importance and must meet many criterions before being declared as Ramsar
Wetlands, such as having over 20,000 or more water birds and a large number of local fish species. On the occasion of 75
years of independence, the Prime Minister of India announced that the total number of Ramsar Sites in India has increased to 75. Following, the 97th Episode of Mann Ki Baat (on 29.01.2023) by Prime Minister of India, Zoological Survey of India took initiative to compile and document the faunal composition of all the 75 Ramsar Wetlands (RWs) in India. For the first time, it has been found that the faunal diversity of RWs in India accounts for over 7.0% of the total fauna of India, which includes over, 4,538 species of invertebrates, 1,691 species of vertebrates and 562 species of protozoans. Over 2072 species of insects, 672 species of crustaceans, 237 species of arachnids, 187 species of earthworms, polychaetes and leaches are known from these wetlands. There are over 6,791 species of mammals, 739 species of birds, 643 species of fishes, 133 species of reptiles, and 44 species of amphibians. Among vertebrates known from RWs, 26 species are Critically Endangered, 42 Vulnerable and 72 Endangered. This baseline information would be extremely useful for further strengthening the database of each wetland and will be impactful for wetland conservation and management towards its sustainable use.