Ashish Kumar Arya Kamal Kant Joshi Archana Bachheti Deepti


Biodiversity is not equally distributed across the world. It depends on the type of various habitats and food availability. In these habitats, wetlands play an import role to increase the biodiversity of the particular area. Many studies have focused on various habitats to conserve biodiversity. However, the wetland studies are very few due to the lack of information on their distribution and importance. The present review focusses on the wetland status and their importance in India. India has vibrant and diverse wetland ecosystems that support immense biodiversity. The wetlands are unique habitats which provide ecological, social and economic values. However, rapid urbanization, industrialization and uncontrolled agricultural practices have pressurized to shrink the wetlands in India. The present paper highlights the wetland habitats in India with their geographical location, distribution, avian species diversity and their significance. The paper also discusses the growing threats like climate change, land-use change and agriculture/ municipal waste to the wetlands and the conservation efforts by Indian government policies, i.e. National Wetland Conservation Programme, National Environmental Policy, and National Plan for conservation of the aquatic ecosystem. In addition, on the basis of previous studies on wetlands,  it is suggested that the role of stakeholders is very much responsible for wetland conservation.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...




Avian biodiversity, Biodiversity, Conservation, Migratory birds, Wetlands

Agarwal, M. (2011). Migratory birds in India: Migratory birds dwindling, New Global Indian (http://newglobalindian.com/nature).
Ali, S., Abbas, Z., Rizwan, M., Zaheer, I.E., Yava?, ?., Ünay, A., Abdel-Daim, M.M., Bin-Jumah, M., Hasanuzzaman, M. and Kalderis, D. (2020). Application of Floating Aquatic Plants in Phytoremediation of Heavy Metals Polluted Water: A Review. Sustainability, 12 (5), 1927. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051927
Ali, S., Ripley, S. D. and Dick, J. H. (1987). Compact handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan.https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Com pact+handbook+of+the+birds+of+India+an d+Pakistan&author=Ali%2C+Sa%CC%81lim&publication_year=1987
Almuktar, S. A., Abed, S. N., and Scholz, M. (2018). Wetlands for wastewater treatment and subsequent recycling of treated effluent: a review. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(24), 23595-23623. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2629-3
Art, I. N. T. for, and Heritage, C. (1998). Delhi’s dying water bodies. Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage New Delhi.
Arya, A. K., Bhatt, D., Singh, A., Saini, V., Verma, P., Rathi, R., and Bhatnagar, P. (2019). Diversity and status of migratory and resident wetland birds in Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 11(3), 732-737. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v11i3.2085
Bassi, N., and Kumar, M. D. (2012). Addressing the civic challenges: Perspective on institutional change for sustainable urban water management in India. Environment and Urbanization Asia, 3(1), 165–183.
Balasubramanian, R., and Selvaraj, K. N. (2003). Poverty, private property and common pool resource management: The case of irrigation tanks in south India. SANDEE, Kathmandu, Nepal..
Bassi, N., Kumar, M. D., Sharma, A., and Pardha-Saradhi, P. (2014). Status of wetlands in India: A review of extent, ecosystem benefits, threats and management strategies. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 2, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejrh.2014.07.001
Bates, B., Kundzewicz, Z., and Wu, S. (2008). Climate change and water. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Secretariat.
Bennett, M. T., Gong, Y., and Scarpa, R. (2018). Hungry birds and angry farmers: Using choice experiments to assess “eco-compensation” for coastal wetlands protection in China. Ecological Economics, 154, 71–87. 10.1016/j.ecolecon.2018.07.016
Bhatt, D., Sethi, V. K., Sharma, S., Kumar, A., Saini, V., and Singh, A. (2015). Waterbirds of selected wetlands of Uttarakhand. Waterbirds of India, ENVIS WII, 16, 140-159.
Blackwell, M. S., Hogan, D. V., and Maltby, E. (2002). 15 Wetlands as Regulators of Pollutant Transport. z. (Eds PM Haygarth, SC Jarvis) pp. 321–336.
Board, C. P. C. (2009). Status of water supply, wastewater generation and treatment in Class-I cities and Class-II towns of India. Central Pollution Control Board, Government of India New Delhi, India.
Board, M. E. A. (2005). Ecosystems and Human Well-Being: Wetlands and Water Synthesis.
Boyd, J. and Banzhaf, S. (2007). What are ecosystem services? The need for standardized environmental accounting units. Ecological Economics, 63(2–3), 616–626.
Buckton, S. (2007). Managing wetlands for sustainable livelihoods at Koshi Tappu. Danphe, 16(1), 12–13.
Butchart, S. H., Walpole, M., Collen, B., Van Strien, A., Scharlemann, J. P., Almond, R. E., Baillie, J. E., Bomhard, B., Brown, C., and Bruno, J. (2010). Global biodiversity: Indicators of recent declines. Science, 328(5982), 1164–1168.
Colette, A. (2013). Case studies on climate change and World Heritage. UNESCO Publishing.
Commission, C. W. (2010). Financial aspects of irrigation projects in India. Ministry of Water Resources, Government of India.
Costanza, R., De Groot, R., Braat, L., Kubiszewski, I., Fioramonti, L., Sutton, P., Farber, S., and Grasso, M. (2017). Twenty years of ecosystem services: How far have we come and how far do we still need to go? Ecosystem Services, 28, 1–16.
Cowardin, L. M., and Golet, F. C. (1979). US Fish and Wildlife Service 1979 wetland classification: A review. In Classification and inventory of the world’s wetlands (pp. 139–152). Springer.
MoEF (2007). Conservation of wetlands in India: A profile (approach and guidelines)., Government of India New Delhi.
Fisheries Division (2017) Hand book of fisheries statistics Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Unit, F. S. (n.d.), Ministry of Agriculture. Government of India, New Delhi.
Fisheries Division (2018). Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Govt of India, New Delhi.
Gardner, R. C., & Finlayson, M. (2018). Global wetland outlook: State of the world’s wetlands and their services to people 2018 . Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention.
Ghermandi, A., Van Den Bergh, J. C., Brander, L. M., De Groot, H. L., and Nunes, P. A. (2010). Values of natural and human-made wetlands: A meta-analysis. Water Resources Research, 46(12).
Grimmett, R., Inskipp, C., and Inskipp, T. (2016). Birds of the Indian Subcontinent: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and the Maldives. Bloomsbury Publishing.
Han L., Randhir T.O. and Huang, M.S. (2017) Design and assessment of stream-wetland systems for nutrient removal in an urban watershed of China. Water Air Soil Poll 228(4):139–154
Hidding, B., Nolet, B. A., De Boer, T., De Vries, P. P., and Klaassen, M. (2010). Above-and below-ground vertebrate herbivory may each favour a different subordinate species in an aquatic plant community. Oecologia, 162(1), 199-208.
Hagirath, B., Kumar, C., Nauriyal, D. K., Nayak, N. C., Prasad, P. M., Rajgopalan, P., Mishra, P., Trivedi, P. L., Agrawal, A., and Singh, S. P. (2011). Trends in Agriculture and Agricultural Practices in Ganga Basin. An Overview, Tech. rep., Ganga River Basin Managment Plan.
Ilyas H, Masih I (2017) The performance of the intensified constructed wetlands for organic matter and nitrogen removal: a review. Journal of Environmental management 198:372–383
Jain, C. K., Singhal, D. C., and Sharma, M. K. (2007). Estimating nutrient loadings using chemical mass balance approach. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 134(1–3), 385–396.
Jain, S. K., Agarwal, P. K., and Singh, V. P. (2007a). Concepts of Water Governance for India. In Hydrology and Water Resources of India (pp. 1155–1189). Springer.
Jain, S. K., Agarwal, P. K., and Singh, V. P. (2007b). Hydrology and water resources of India (Vol. 57). Springer Science & Business Media.
Juliano, K., and Simonovic, S. P. (1999). The impact of wetlands on flood control in the Red River Valley of Manitoba. Final Report to International Joint Commission, International Joint Commission, Washington, DC.
Kathiresan, K., and Thakur, S. (2008). Mangroves for the future: National strategy and action plan, India. Ministry of Environment and Forests, New Delhi [Revised Draft].
Kaur, R., Dhir, G., Kumar, P., Laishram, G., Ningthoujam, D., and Sachdeva, P. (2012). Constructed wetland technology for treating municipal wastewaters. ICAR News, 18(1), 8-9.
Khandekar, N. (2011). Delhi water bodies go under the threats. Hindustan Times.
Kickuth, R. (1984). Wurzelraumverfahren in der Praxis. AGRIS, 16(3), 145-153.
Kumar, A., Sati, J. P., Tak, P. C. and Alfred, J. R. B. 2005. Handbook on Indian Wetland Birds and their Conservation: i-xxvi; 1- 468 (Published by the Director, Zool. Surv. India).
Kumar, M. D., Sivamohan, M. V. K., and Bassi, N. (2013). Technology choices and institutions for improving the economic and livelihood benefits from multiple-use tanks in western Odisha. In Water management, food security and sustainable agriculture in developing economies (pp. 158–183). Routledge.
Kumar, R. (2019). Wetlands and waterbirds in Central Asian Flyway: An overview of status, management and conservation priorities for India. Special Issue on Environment, 111-115.
Mondal, P., Reichelt-Brushett, A. J., Jonathan, M. P., Sujitha, S. B., and Sarkar, S. K. (2018). Pollution evaluation of total and acid-leachable trace elements in surface sediments of Hooghly River Estuary and Sundarban Mangrove Wetland (India). Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 25(6), 5681-5699.
Lal, R. (2008). Carbon sequestration. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 363(1492), 815–830.
Liu, J., and Diamond, J. (2005). China’s environment in a globalizing world. Nature, 435(7046), 1179–1186.
McAllister, D. E., Craig, J. F., Davidson, N., Delany, S., and Seddon, M. (2001). Biodiversity impacts of large dams. Background Paper, 1.
Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, M. E. A. (2005). Ecosystems and human well-being. Synthesis.
Mitsch, William J., and Gosselink, J. G. (2000). Wetlands. John wiley & sons. Inc., New York, New York.
Mitsch, William J., and Jørgensen, S. E. (2007). Ecological engineering and ecosystem restoration. John Wiley & Sons.
MoEFCC (2020a). Ramsar Sites of India – Factsheets. Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India
MoEFaCC (2020b). List of Ramsar Sites in India, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Wetlands Division, Government of India, New Delhi.
Molur, S., Smith, K. G., Daniel, B. A., and Darwall, W. R. T. (2011). The status and distribution of freshwater biodiversity in the Western Ghats, India. Cambridge, UK and Gland, Switzerland: IUCN, and Zoo Outreach Organisation, Coimbatore, India, Viii+ 116pp.
NWCP (2009) (National Wetland Conservation Programme). Guidelines for conservation and management of wetlands in India. Conservation and survey division, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, New Delhi.
NPCA (2019). National Plan for Conservation of Aquatic Ecosystems, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India,New Delhi.
Palanisami, K., Meinzen-Dick, R., and Giordano, M. (2010). Climate change and water supplies: Options for sustaining tank irrigation potential in India. Economic and Political Weekly, 183–190.
Pandey, MM, Tiwari, R., Choubey, A.,. (2015). Population Dynamics in India. International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research, (6), 2106-2133.
Pant, H. K., Rechcigl, J. E., and Adjei, M. B. (2003). Carbon sequestration in wetlands: Concept and estimation. Food. Agriculture and Environment, 1(2), 308–313.
Pant, N., and Verma, R. K. (2010). Tanks in Eastern India: A study in exploration. IWMI.
Pattison-Williams, J. K., Pomeroy, J. W., Badiou, P., and Gabor, S. (2018). Wetlands, flood control and ecosystem services in the Smith Creek Drainage Basin: A case study in Saskatchewan, Canada. Ecological economics, 147, 36-47.
Prasad, S. N., Ramachandra, T. V., Ahalya, N., Sengupta, T., Kumar, A., Tiwari, A. K., Vijayan, V. S., and Vijayan, L. (2002). Conservation of wetlands of India-a review. Tropical Ecology, 43(1), 173–186.
Praveen, J., Jayapal, R., and Pittie, A. (2016). A checklist of the birds of India. Indian BIRDS, 11(5&6):113-172
Grumbine, R. E., and Pandit, M. K. (2013). Threats from India's Himalaya dams. Science, 339(6115), 36-37.
Ramachandra, T. V., Kiran, R., Ahalya, N., & Deepa, R. S. (2002). Status of wetlands in Bangalore. CES Technical Report.
Ramachandra, T. V., and Kumar, U. (2008). Wetlands of greater Bangalore, India: Automatic delineation through pattern classifiers. Electronic Green Journal, 26, 2.
Ramsar Convention (2018). ‘Global Wetland Outlook: State of the World’s Wetlands and their Services to People.’ (Ramsar Convention Secretariat: Gland, Switzerland.)
Rai, P. K. (2008). Heavy metal pollution in aquatic ecosystems and its phytoremediation using wetland plants: an Eco sustainable approach. International journal of phytoremediation, 10(2), 133-160.
Rebelo, A. J., Morris, C., Meire, P., and Esler, K. J. (2019). Ecosystem services provided by South African palmiet wetlands: A case for investment in strategic water source areas. Ecological Indicators, 101, 71-80.
SAC (2011). National wetland atlas. Space application center (SAC). Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Ahmedabad, India .
Sala, O. E., Chapin, F. S., Armesto, J. J., Berlow, E., Bloomfield, J., Dirzo, R., Huber-Sanwald, E., Huenneke, L. F., Jackson, R. B., and Kinzig, A. (2000). Global biodiversity scenarios for the year 2100. Science, 287(5459), 1770–1774.
Sarkar, J. (2011). Ramsar convention and India. Current Science, 101(10), 1266–1268.
Saini, V., Joshi, K., Bhatt, D., Singh, A., and Joshi, R. (2017). Waterbird species distribution between natural and man-made wetland in Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand, India. Biodiversitas Journal of Biological Diversity, 18(1). 10.13057/biodiv/d180144
Secretariat, R. (2013). The list of wetlands of international importance. The Secretariat of the Convention on Wetlands, Gland, Switzerland.
Sharma, B. K. (2009a). Composition, abundance and ecology of phytoplankton communities of Loktak Lake, Manipur, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa, 401–410.
Sharma, B. K. (2009b). Diversity of rotifers (Rotifera, Eurotatoria) of Loktak lake, Manipur, North-eastern India. Tropical Ecology, 50(2), 277.
Singh, A. K., Sathya, M., Verma, S., and Jayakumar, S. (2018). Health risk assessment of heavy metals in crop grains grown on open soils of Kanwar wetland, India. Euro-Mediterranean. Journal for Environmental Integration, 3(1), 29.
Talbot, C. J., Bennett, E. M., Cassell, K., Hanes, D. M., Minor, E. C., Paerl, H., Raymond, P. A., Vargas, R., Vidon, P. G., and Wollheim, W. (2018). The impact of flooding on aquatic ecosystem services. Biogeochemistry, 141(3), 439–461.
Tiner, R. W. (1999). A guide to wetland identification, delineation, classification, and mapping. Estados Unidos, CRC Press.
Turner, R. K., Van Den Bergh, J. C., Söderqvist, T., Barendregt, A., Van Der Straaten, J., Maltby, E., and Van Ierland, E. C. (2000). Ecological-economic analysis of wetlands: Scientific integration for management and policy. Ecological Economics, 35(1), 7–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0921-8009(00)00164-6
Verhoeven, J. T., Arheimer, B., Yin, C., and Hefting, M. M. (2006). Regional and global concerns over wetlands and water quality. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, 21(2), 96–103.
Villa, J. A. and Bernal, B. (2018). Carbon sequestration in wetlands, from science to practice: An overview of the biogeochemical process, measurement methods, and policy framework. Ecological Engineering, 114, 115–128. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.06.037
Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), New Delhi.
Wylynko, D. (1999). Prairie wetlands and carbon sequestration. Assessing Sinks under Kyoto Protocol, 12–13.
WOOD, K. A., STILLMAN, R. A., CLARKE, R. T., DAUNT, F. & O'HARE,M. T. (2012). The impact of waterfowl herbivory on plant standing crop: a meta-analysis. Hydrobiologia 686, 157-167.
Zedler, J. B., and Kercher, S. (2005). Wetland resources: Status, trends, ecosystem services, and restorability. Annual Review of Environment and Resources., (30), 39–74. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.energy.30.05 0504.14 4248
Zhao, S., Peng, C., Jiang, H., Tian, D., Lei, X., and Zhou, X. (2006). Land use change in Asia and the ecological consequences. Ecological Research, 21(6), 890–896. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11284-006-0048-2
Citation Format
How to Cite
Arya, A. K., Joshi, K. K., Bachheti, A. ., & Deepti. (2020). A review on distribution and importance of wetlands in the perspective of India. Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 12(4), 710-720. https://doi.org/10.31018/jans.v12i4.2412
More Citation Formats:
Research Articles

Most read articles by the same author(s)