Ramsar Tag for Dhanauri Wetlands

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October 18, 2023

Ramsar Tag for Dhanauri Wetlands

National Green Tribunal Seeks Update on Ramsar Tag for Dhanauri Wetlands

Centre offers green bounty for Greater Noida wetland | Noida News - Times  of India


The National Green Tribunal has issued a directive to the Uttar Pradesh government, giving them a four-week deadline to provide an update on the status of the Ramsar tag for the Dhanauri Wetlands. This decision comes in light of the wetland’s crucial ecological significance, particularly as a habitat for the Sarus crane, the state bird of Uttar Pradesh.

Dhanauri Wetlands: A Sanctuary for Avian Wonders

Situated in Dhanauri village near Dankaur, Uttar Pradesh, the Dhanauri Wetlands is a renowned bird-watching area. Notably, it is home to a thriving population of over 120 Sarus cranes, a species of particular importance in the state.

Ecological Significance of Dhanauri Wetlands

Dhanauri is a natural wetland that boasts an impressive array of wildlife, with more than 217 bird species gracing its waters. Among them, over 150 Sarus cranes find solace and sustenance, making it a vital birding and nesting site. This biodiversity hotspot has received accolades from organizations such as Bird Life International, which has recognized it as an Important Bird Area. Additionally, the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has documented its ecological richness.

During the peak migratory seasons, from November to March, Dhanauri Wetlands plays host to over 50,000 waterfowls, underlining its significance as a critical stopover point for migratory birds.

Urgency in the News: Sarus Crane Conservation

The urgency surrounding Dhanauri Wetlands stems from its pivotal role in safeguarding the vulnerable Sarus crane population. The wetland satisfies two crucial Ramsar site criteria out of the nine stipulated:

It hosts over 1% of the biogeographic Sarus crane population.

The area serves as a congregation site for more than 20,000 waterfowls, along with various other species.

Ramsar Wetlands: Guardians of Global Biodiversity

The Ramsar Convention, established by UNESCO in 1971, is an intergovernmental environmental treaty named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where it was initially ratified. Under this convention, wetlands of global significance are recognized and designated as Ramsar sites. These sites are crucial for various reasons, including supporting endangered species, maintaining biodiversity in specific regions, and offering refuge during adverse conditions.

Criteria for Ramsar Site Designation

  • The designation of a Ramsar site hinges on several critical factors, including:
  • Representing rare or unique natural wetland types.
  • Providing support for endangered species or threatened ecological communities.
  • Maintaining biodiversity in specific biogeographic regions.
  • Offering refuge during adverse conditions.
  • Regularly accommodating 20,000 or more waterbirds.
  • Sustaining 1% of a population of a single water-bird species.
  • Serving as a critical source of food, spawning grounds, nurseries, and migration paths for fish.
  • Regularly supporting 1% of a population of non-avian wetland-dependent animal species.


The Dhanauri Wetlands stand as a testament to the delicate balance of nature, providing a haven for a diverse array of avian species, particularly the Sarus crane. The urgency in securing its Ramsar tag is a testament to its global ecological significance and the need for concerted conservation efforts. It is imperative that the Uttar Pradesh government responds promptly to the National Green Tribunal’s directive, ensuring the continued protection of this invaluable natural treasure.

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Ramsar Tag for Dhanauri Wetlands | Vaid ICS Institute