Agra’s Soor Sarovar now Ramsar site

Agra, Nov 15 : The famous Soor Sarovar lake, also called Keetham, on the Agra-Delhi highway (NH-2), has been declared a ‘Ramsar site’ on the list of wetlands of international importance.

This is the eighth wetland in Uttar Pradesh to be declared as a Ramsar site in India.

A Ramsar site is a wetland site, designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention, through an inter-governmental environmental treaty established in 1971 by UNESCO, which came into force in 1975.

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The entire lake, pentagonal in shape, is formed in a catchment area of 7.13 sqkm.

It was declared a national bird sanctuary in 1991 by the state Forest Department.

With artificially created islands for shelter and breeding grounds to the migratory birds, the lake is home to more than 106 species of migratory and resident birds. The site is important for bird species which migrate on the Central Asian flyway, with over 30,000 water birds known to visit the reservoir annually.

Besides supporting numerous resident and migratory birds, the sanctuary has around 300 pythons and more than 60 species of fish.

Diwakar Srivastava, deputy conservator of forest, National Chambal Sanctuary project in Agra, expressed delight that the site will now be recognised internationally.

The Yogi Adityanath government is also making plans to develop the bird sanctuary as an eco-tourism site. Uttar Pradesh Forest and Environment Minister Dara Singh Chauhan had made an announcement to this effect, earlier in February.

Six other wetlands in the state which had been declared Ramsar sites in the beginning of the year are Nawabganj in Unnao, Parvati Aranga in Gonda, Saman in Mainpuri, Samaspur in Rae Bareli, Sandi in Hardoi and Sarsai Nawar in Etawah.

However, the upper Ganga stretch from Brij Ghat to Narora was the state’s first Ramsar site in 2005.

Agra city now has four internationally recognized spots for tourists — three UNESCO world heritage sites, including the Taj Mahal and one wetland.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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