But in the last 100 years, we’ve lost more than 50% of our wetlands in India! This is because of pollution, falling groundwater levels, construction projects and a rising population.

At WWF-India, we’re working to change this. Here are some important wetlands where our work is making a difference.

1. The wetland of the Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur, Rajasthan, supports more than 40,000 birds of 375 species, 27 species of mammals, 379 species of plants, 7 species of turtles and 50 species of fishes.

Through our work with Rajasthan Forest Department and communities, we’ve established

  •  The Salim Ali Visitor Interpretation Centre which helps visitors understand the intricate ecosystem relationships of the park.
  • A Water School programme  that has reached over 6000 students and enabling them to explore a more sustainable relationship with nature
  • Control over invasive species like African cat fish, water hyacinth and Prosopis juliflora
  • Training and capacity building of forest officials, nature guides and rickshaw pullers.

2. The Harike wetland in Punjab, supports rare, vulnerable and endangered species like the Indus River Dolphin, testudine turtle, the smooth-coated otter, Jerdon's Babler and rufous-vented Prinia.

Through our work with Punjab Forest Department, we’ve established

  • A Water School programme across 20 schools around the Beas River and the Harike wetland
  • Annual Bird Census and Dolphin surveys
  • Education and awareness campaigns for local communities and capacity building for forest staff
  • Reintroduction of Gharials in December 2017 and their monitoring with the support of State Wildlife board, Forest Department and riparian communities

The Upper Ganga Ramsar site in Uttar Pradesh, is home to the IUCN Red listed Ganges River Dolphin, Gharial, 12 species of turtles, otters, 82 species of fish and more than hundred species of birds.

Through our work, we’ve established

  • The reintroduction and monitoring of Gharials with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department
  • Engaging local stakeholders in the monitoring of the Ganges River Dolphin
  • Rescuing turtle eggs found around the riverbed and rehabilitating them in hatcheries and releasing the hatchlings back in the river
  • Education and awareness campaigns for local communities
  • A Water School programme  that has reached 21,196 students, nurturing them to respect and conserve nature and biodiversity

4. The Madiwala Wetland in Bengaluru, Karnataka, is surrounded by residential complexes and is also used extensively for commercial purposes.

Through our work with Karnataka Forest Department and communities, we’ve established

  • Water Quality Assessment, Biodiversity surveys and pilot studies on waste water treatment
  • Community Engagement through campaigns and community action
  • public outreach and awareness campaigns
  • Wetland Health Assessments with the Forest Department

5. The Kokkarebellur community reserve, Karnataka, which is the only community reserve in Karnataka and the breeding site for spot billed pelicans and painted storks.

Through our work, we’ve established

  • Insulation of electrical cables in the entire community reserve area to prevent accidental electrocution of birds along with the Karnatak Forest Department and CHESCOM (distribution company)
  • A nature interpretation center to educate tourists, school children and local community on significance of the community reserve.
  • Regular Biodiversity surveys
  • Restoration of seven wetlands with the support of Karnataka Forest Department and riparian communities.
  • Plantation of native tree species to provide increased nesting opportunities.
  • cleanup drives and de-weeding by engaging local stakeholders
  • public outreach and awareness campaigns
  • WWF-India capacitates and supports the community volunteer group called Hejjarle Bellega (Friends of Pelicans) who take care of the sick and fallen birds.
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