About Harike Lake

Harike is one of the largest man-made wetlands of northern India which shares its area with the Tarntaran, Ferozpur and Kapurthala districts of Punjab. It came into existence in 1952 after the construction of barrage near the confluence of rivers Sutlej and Beas. Harike is a significant abode for the birds migrating from across the international frontiers. The wetland area is spread over about 41 km2 and supports more than 400 avian species. In addition to haven for birds, Harike also harbours endangered aquatic mammalian as well as reptilian fauna like Indus river dolphin, smooth-coated otter and seven species of rare freshwater turtles.  An area of about 86 km2 has been notified as wildlife sanctuary. Considered a wetland of international importance especially as waterfowl refuge, this site was accorded the wetland status in 1990 by the Ramsar Convention. 

Conservation Challenges

The sanctuary is struggles with several conservational issues like encroachment, weed infestation, industrial effluents, illegal fishing and poaching of birds.

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The recent discovery of the Indus river dolphin, Indian star tortoise and Jerdon’s babbler in the Harike Wildlife Sanctuary and waters of River Beas confirm the possibility of unexplored rich biodiversity.

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