State seeks Ramsar Site Tag for Ranganathittu Sanctuary
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State seeks Ramsar Site Tag for Ranganathittu Sanctuary

September 9, 2021

Mysore/Mysuru: The State Government has sent a proposal to the Centre seeking Ramsar Site Tag for Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary near Srirangapatna in Mandya district. If wetlands or Ramsar Sites are declared, they require stringent conservation measures.

The Government has written to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), seeking Ramsar recognition for Ranganathittu and once approved, it will be binding on the State and the Centre to protect the entire Ranganathittu that has been recognised by the Bombay Natural History Society as a bird area of national importance.

The renowned islets of Ranganathittu on the banks of the river Cauvery is a fit place to get Ramsar Tag and the Forest Department has been promoting the area as a safe zone for winged beauties. “Ranganathittu has the potential to be recognised as a Ramsar Wetland Site as it meets some of the criteria pertaining to local flora, fauna and ecology,” V. Karikalan, Mysuru Deputy Conservator of Forests, told Star of Mysore.

According to Wetland Rules 2017, wetlands and Ramsar Sites (wetland sites designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, an intergovernmental environmental treaty by UNESCO, 1975) should be outside forest areas. India is a signatory to the Ramsar Convention, which was adopted in the Iranian city of Ramsar in 1971. The convention provides a framework for conservation of wetlands and their resources. There are currently 46 sites in India recognised as Ramsar wetland sites of international importance, but none of them are in Karnataka. 

Karikalan added that the proposal had gone from Mysuru for Ranganathittu two years back. “The Centre would have sought some clarification regarding Ranganathittu now the Government would have sent the same. We are ready to provide any support. Even when the bird census was conducted at Ranganathittu in 2019, it was compiled for the Ramsar Site Tag,” he added.

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The census was conducted on scientific lines and they adopted two methods — Total Count Method and Nest Count Method. Every boat had at least one camera to record the species of the bird. But the prime importance was given to bird sightings, nest sightings and bird calls, based on which the survey was conducted. The data collated during the survey, reports, bird counts, surveys, was submitted to MoEF&CC.

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