Year : 2011  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 79-82

Strategy and scenario for wetland conservation in India

1 Department of Industrial Fish & Fisheries, Asutosh College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Zoology, Asutosh College, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Monjit Paul
Department of Industrial Fish and Fisheries, Asutosh College, 92 S. P. Mookerjee Road, Kolkata - 700 026, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5186.82976

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Wetlands are the most important ecosystems for the organisms in Animal Kingdom (including human beings) and Plant Kingdom. There are about hundred species of flora in and around Indian Wetlands. They include Sagittaria montividensis, Cryptocoryne ciliata, Cyperus spp., Acrostichum aureum, Ipomoea aquatica, etc. They are also the habitats of several mammals like the marsh mongoose, small Indian mongoose, palm civet and the small Indian civet. Endangered species like the Indian mud turtle have also been found in the wetlands. Certain species of birds also visit the wetlands. Prominent ones are grebe, coot, darter, shag, cormorant, teals, egrets, jacanas, snipes, tern, eagle, sand piper, gulls, rails and kingfishers. The wetlands are important for production of foods and human safety. The East Kolkata wetlands with their garbage farms and fishponds have provided the city with three facilities, i.e., food, sanitation and livelihood. They also provide ecological security to the city of Kolkata. Over the past few years, wetlands have come under severe threat. With the population explosion, some of the largest fish farms have been converted from pisiculture to paddy cultivation. Industries also empty their wastewater effluent without treatment to the channels flowing eastward and these ultimately land up in the wetlands. This has caused substantial amount of deposits of metal in the canal sludge and made the wastewater incapable for the consumption by the fishes and the plants grown in the wetland. Nevertheless, due to urbanization or human interference, the wetland and its unique ecosystem biodiversity are in danger. After Ramsar Convention, 1971, different acts have been passed in India for conservation of wetlands, along with conducting general awareness program for the local people by the government, conducting different programs, management of wetlands, and research by the government, NGOs and other institutions.

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