Punjab : Ranjit Sagar Wetland is located at the boundary of three states including Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh situated on river Ravi near Pathankot. The water impoundment created by construction of Dam is primarily meant for irrigation, power generation, flood control, navigation and water supply. This wetland has also great potential fishery resources in India. Ranjit Sagar Wetland is cold water wetland and occupying largest catchment area (6086 sq. km.) as compared to other wetlands existing in the Punjab state. National Wetland Committee included Ranjit Sagar wetland in 2005 as wetland of National importance. This wetland is very important from ecological of point of view which support lot of fish diversity, but this wetland had not ever attracted migratory birds due to its very deep water depth. Most of the Migratory birds prefer shallow water from where, they can easily find fish for food.
In this winter season, lots of migratory birds have been reported by Dr. Onkar Singh Brraich, Department of Zoology and Environmental Sciences, Punjabi University, Patiala for the first time. He visited this wetland along with a team of research scholars and reported flocks of migratory birds including Barheaded Geese, Ruddyshell Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Little Stint, Green Shank at Phangota (Latitude 320 27.63′ N and Longitude 750 46.599′ E) under Tehsil Dhar, Distt. Pathankot. In this area water is very shallow which might have attracted these migratory birds from far flung area of the world. The occurrence of migratory birds is very good news for the nature lovers, bird watchers, scientist and for Department of Wildlife, Punjab as well. More conservation efforts can be done to attract more and more migratory birds at this wetland. The occurrence of migratory birds on any wetland is one of the criteria to designate it a wetland of international importance (Ramsar site). This reporting has a great significance for this wetland to designate it wetland of International importance. Dr. Onkar Singh is studying ecology of this wetland under a project sanctioned by Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India since one and a half year. This is the first step towards its data collection and conservation efforts. The results out of this study will be very helpful to conduct further conservation measures of this wetland.
Wetlands these days are surviving under very severe stress due to various anthropogenic activities. If proper conservation efforts will not be taken, these natural aquatic ecosystems will be diminished from our mother earth. This unprecedented abuse of our fragile and extremely important ecosystems incited the Punjabi University, Patiala to undertake a study for ecological profile and biological survey of Ranjit Sagar Wetland so as to plan suitable strategy for its conservation and management.