Wetlands are homes for thousands of species. There are 225 nationally significant wetlands covering 9.7% of the area of Pakistan. As per the Ramsar convention ( International Importance of Wetlands), Waterfowl Habitat is an international treaty for the sustainable use of wetlands. It is also known as the Wetlands Ramsar Convention. That includes wetland sites include 19 countries. 

These sites are listed below:

Astola Island, Chashma Barrage, Deh Akro-II Desert Wetland Complex, Drigh lake, Haleji Lake, Hub Dam, Indus Delta, Indus Dolphin Reserve, Jiwani coastal wetland, Jubho Lagoon, Kinjhar lake, Miani Hor, Nurri Lagoon, Ormara Turtle Beaches, Runn Of Kutch, Tanda dam, Taunsa Barrage, Ucchali Complex.

Wetland Ramsar Protected sites

Astola Island is an island approximately 25 km off the coast of Baluchistan province. It supports various types of migratory birds as the island is the largest offshore island of Pakistan (6.7 km2). It is ecologically important as its beaches provide nesting ground for the endangered green turtle and hawksbill turtle. Saw-scaled viper species are considered endemic to this island. Because of the absence of a freshwater source, it doesn’t support forest trees. The island’s vegetation consists of shrubs and large bushes. The marine ecology of the island supports a variety of coral.

Chashma Barrage is a large wetland. That is located on the Indus River. More than 100 species of birds have been recorded here in the barrage. That includes migratory birds found in abundance in summers and winters. The Indus River dolphin (WWF-Pakistan’s priority species), is found in these waters. It contains 58 species of fish.

Deh Akro-II Desert Wetland Complex site covers an area of 20,500 ha located in Sindh. It consists of 36 lakes and includes four major habitat types: desert, wetland, marsh, and agricultural land. It is a Wildlife Sanctuary that supports a variety of rare and endangered wildlife species… 

The complex plays host to a considerable number of rare faunas (e.g., Desert cat Felis libyca, Darter Anhinga melanogaster pennant, Garganey Anas querquedula, Black Ibis Pseudibis papillosa). And endangered species (e.g., Marsh crocodile; Crocodylus palustris, Hog deer Axis porcinus, White-eyed Pochard Anthya nyroca). It supports many indigenous fish species. It allows fishing to local people but prohibits commercial fishing.

Tanda Dam is a small water-storage reservoir supporting irrigated agriculture and a small fishery in NWFP. A total of 405 ha of land is covered by the reservoir. The site serves as a staging area for various waterbirds. It also serves as a wintering area for Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.). Bird numbers seldom exceed 500 in mid-winter and 2,000 during migration periods. 

Author: Shah Noor khan

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