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Ramsar Sites



Designation date:           23.07.1976
Coordinates:                     24° 56 N, 068°03’E
Elevation:                          70 m
Area:                                  13,468 ha
Province:                           Sindh

Keenjhar also known as Kalri Lake is one of the largest freshwater lakes in Pakistan. It has length of about 24 km, width 6 km and capacity of 0.53 million acre feet. It is located at a distance of about 122 km east from Karachi and 19 km north-east of Thatta town. The lake was created in 1930s from the two smaller lakes Keenjhar and Kalri by the construction of a dam at Chilya and a 12 km embankment on the eastern side. Indus provides Keenjhar, the required water through Kalri Baghar (KB) Feeder. KB Feeder starts from Kotri Barrage. Since the area is arid and receives less than 200 mm annual rainfall, hence Indus is the only source of water for this lake.

The lake has extensive reed-beds, particularly in the shallow western and northern parts and rich submerged and floating vegetation. The natural vegetation of the surrounding area is tropical thorn forest. The climate is dry subtropical monsoonal.

The lake is internationally important for a wide variety of breeding, staging, passage and wintering waterbirds. The wintering birds include ducks and geese, shorebirds, flamingos, cormorants, herons and egrets, ibises, coots, gulls, terns etc. The breeding birds reported from this wetland are Cotton Teal, Night Heron, Pheasant tailed Jacana and Purple Moorehen. About 100,000 birds have been recorded from this wetland in winter. This lake has rich submerged and floating aquatic vegetation. The natural vegetation of the surrounding area is tropical thorn forest. The Lake is rich in fish fauna and supports the livelihood of about 50,000 local people. Main activities at the site are commercial fishing, nature conservation and public recreation. The site serves as a major source of drinking water for Karachi. Keenjhar Lake was declared a Game Sanctuary in 1971 and designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1977.


Designation date:           23.7.76
Coordinates:                     24° 47 N, 067°46’E
Elevation:                          60 m
Area:                                  1,704 ha
Province:                          Sindh

Haleji Lake is an artificial perennial freshwater lake with fluctuating water levels, fringed by brackish seepage lagoons and supporting abundant aquatic vegetation. It is situated 15 km northwest of Thatta and 75 km east of Karachi. The lake was formed in the 1930s by converting the lagoon into a water storage reservoir. The maximum depth of this lake is 5-6 m and water levels fluctuate with 1-1.5 m. The climate is dry, sub-tropical monsoonal, with very hot summers and cool winters.

It is the internationally important breeding, staging and wintering areas for waterbirds in southern Pakistan, supporting between 50,000 and 100,000 birds in winter. It is a wintering site for the globally threatened Pelicans Pelecanus cripus. The other wintering birds include ducks and geese, coot, cormorants, shorebirds, flamingos and pelicans, gulls and terns, ibises, storks etc. Breeding of heron and egret, pheasant tailed jacana and rare spot bill have been reported from this wetland. The lake is also rich in raptors and fish and it supports a small population of marsh crocodile Crocodylus.


Designation date:           23.07.1976
Coordinates:                     27° 34 N, 068°06’E
Elevation:                           50 m
Area:                                   164 ha
Province:                           Sindh

It lies 18 km west of Larkana. Drigh is a small, slightly brackish lake, with extensive marshes, situated in the Indus floodplain. The lake is fed by water from the nearby canal system and by local run-off from monsoon rains. The lake is situated in an area of cultivated plains, generally divided into small fields for rice cultivation. It is a semi-natural wetland, supporting rich and diverse aquatic vegetation. The climate is arid and sub tropical, with hot summers and cool winters.

The site regularly hosts over 20,000 waterbirds, mostly ducks, geese and coot in winter. It is a breeding and wintering area for a wide variety of waterbirds and an important roosting site for night-heron. The wintering birds also include shorebirds, cormorants, pelicans, flamingos, jacanas, gulls and terns. This lake was designated as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1972.


Designation date:           10.05.2001
Coordinates:                    28° 01 N, 069°15’E
Elevation:                        80 m
Area:                                125,000 ha
Province:                         Sindh

The Indus Dolphin Reserve stretches a distance of 170 km, from the Sukkur Barrage upstream to the Guddu Barrage near Kashmore. The site is a good representative example of a natural wetland, featuring the perennial river flow within two earthen banks. This particular stretch of the river is very important for the survival of more than 500 remaining individuals of the Indus Dolphin. This unique species is endemic to Pakistan and is listed in the IUCN (International Conservation Union) Red List. Pond areas near the two barrages also provide habitat to migratory waterbirds. There are some marshy areas and riverine forests on the adjacent floodplains. The climate is arid sub-tropical and the annual rainfall is about 200 mm. The river is used for fishing, boat transportation and limited recreational activities. The surrounding communities use the water of the river for irrigation and domestic purposes. The area is also home to the historical Sadhu bella, Hindu shrine and Satinjo Astan, Muslim graveyard. The Government of Sindh declared approximately 170 km river stretch between the two barrages as Dolphin Reserve in 1974.  


Designation date: 10.5.2001
Coordinates:          24° 20 N, 068°40’E
Elevation:                50 m
Area:                       706 ha
Province:               Sindh

Jubho Lagoon is a good example of a natural wetland, featuring a combination of brackish, coastal and inland lagoons and mudflats. It is a large shallow brackish lagoon with associated mudflats and marshes. The site is inter-connected with Pateji, Cholri and Nurri wetlands. Some salt-tolerant bushes can be found in the high lying areas of the wetland. The locals used this site for fishing and livestock grazing. The wetland is important for wintering waterbirds, particularly Greater and Lesser Flamingo and Dalamatian Pelican. Lesser Flamingo and Dalmatian Pelican are endangered species. Large scale hunting has reduced the number and diversity of migratory birds. As a result of the construction of the tidal link canal, salt water intrusion has taken place that has reduced the growth of freshwater vegetation. Also the agricultural run off has damaged the biodiversity of the area.



Designation Date:10.05.2001
Coordinates:          24° 30 N, 068°47’E
Elevation:               50 m
Area:                       2,540 ha
Province:                Sindh

Nurri Lagoon is situated in the Golarchi subdivision of Badin District, 190 km southeast of Karachi. This is a natural wetland, featuring a combination of brackish coastal and inland lagoons and barren mudflats on the northern side. The site has consistently recorded a very large concentrations of migratory birds in winter. The different bird species found in the area include storks, snipes, crested terns, ducks and gulls. Nurri Lagoon comprises four inter-connected shallow wetlands with very sparse vegetation. This lagoon is connected with Jubho, Pateji and Cholri wetlands. All these wetlands are inter-connected and ultimately drain into a tidal link. The water is brackish. Salinity and sedimentation are increasing due to the intrusion of the sea in this area and water level is increasing due to the tidal effect. The site is not protected. The wetland is under threat by over population on the dwindling natural resource base. There has been a dramatic increase in fishing and illegal hunting activities over the past two decades. Also, agricultural and industrial pollution have aggravated the situation. 


Designation date:          05. 11. 2002
Coordinates:                   26° 50 N, 068°20’E
Elevation:                        50 m
Area:                                20,500 ha
Province:                         Sindh

The wetland is located 330 km northeast of Karachi, in Nawabshah district. It is a natural wetland comprising 36 lakes and a complex of four major habitats types: desert, wetland, marsh and agricultural lands. The complex presents a unique example of desert wetland ecosystem that supports a variety of rare and endangered wildlife species. In total, the wetland supports more than 18 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, 14 species of fish, and 101 species of birds. The site regularly supports over 20,000 waterbirds. The wetland supports a small population of marsh crocodiles. The wetland is an important feeding and spawning ground for several indigenous fish species. The desert is characterised by sand dunes with well developed herbs/shrubs and trees. The agricultural land comprises patches of irrigated agricultural fields lying adjacent to the desert. The wetland fauna includes waterbirds, crocodiles, otters and fish. Land uses in the wetland include small-scale irrigated agriculture, subsistence fishing, conservation education and scientific research. In 1998, the wetland was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary.



Designation date:           05. 11. 2002
Coordinates:                    24° 06 N, 067°42’E
Elevation:                         0-0 m
Area:                                 472,800 ha
Province:                          Sindh

This site is located southeast of Karachi, in Thatta district. The Indus Delta is a unique example of a natural wetland in the Arabian coastal biogeographic region. It is the fifth largest delta in the world, formed under largely arid climatic conditions and characterised by high river discharge, moderate tides and evidently the highest wave energy of any river in the world. The fan shaped delta consists of creeks, estuaries, mud flats, sandflats, mangrove swamps, marshes, bays and rocky shores.

Its 129,000 ha of mangrove, mostly Avicennia marina, comprises 97 % of the total mangrove area in the country and is said to be the 7th largest mangrove forest in the world. Due to its large size, the Delta is essential for maintaining the biodiversity in the region, including the arid mangrove habitat and its fauna. The mangroves provide shelter to many aquatic and terrestrial species and they are an important staging aground for migratory birds.

The Delta regularly supports over 60,000 migratory waterbirds. The estuarine creeks and the mangroves represent an essential nursery ground for fish and shrimp and they spend their early life stages in this wetland. The water in the Indus Delta is generally brackish and saline. The creeks with a mix of river and sea water are considered as the only freshwater habitats. Mangroves have turned out to be the most important natural protection against erosive forces and storm damage. The climate is characterised as a subtropical maritime desert type. Since 1972, Keti Bunder, Shah Bunder and Cut Manarki Chach in the Indus Delta have been declared Wildlife Sanctuaries.


Designation date:         05. 11. 2002
Coordinates:                  N, 070°05’E
Elevation:                        10 m
Area:                                566,375 ha
Province:                         Sindh    

The wetland is located in the district of Tharparkar. The site is a representative, natural wetland and part of the great Thar Desert. The site comprises stabilised sand dunes, some more than 170 m in height with broad inter-dunal valleys of alluvial soil, integral with the large Runn of Kutch across the frontier with India that includes permanent saline marshes, coastal brackish lagoons, tidal mudflats and estuarine habitats. The wetland can be classified into three habitats: the sand-dunal tract, the Karunjhar hill range and the coastal saline marshy tract. It is situated in the tropical thorn forest sand dune vegetation zone.

The flora includes some of the tree and shrub species and provides refuge to very rare bird species. The site supports many locally and globally threatened species of birds and mammals. The site is also a feeding ground for flamingos and a wintering area for waterbirds. The wetland regularly supports over 40,000 waterbirds. The marshy habitat is most attractive for water bird species such as common teal, shell duck, mallard, pochard, flamingos and pelicans. The agricultural habitat is based on a seasonal system and does not offer permanent attraction to the wildlife, mostly composed of peafowl and other grain picking resident birds. In 1980, the site was declared Wildlife Sanctuary.



Designation date:          10.05.2001
Coordinates                     25° 15 N, 067°07’E
Elevation:                         150 m
Area:                                  27,000 ha
Province:                          Sindh/Balochistan

Hub Dam is located in the districts of Karachi and Lasbella, in Sindh and Balochistan Provinces, respectively. I t is a large water storage reservoir constructed in 1981 on the Hub River on the arid plains north of Karachi. The reservoir supplies water for irrigation in Lasbella District and domestic and drinking water for the city of Karachi.

There is an extensive growth of aquatic vegetation on the site. It is fed by the Hub River and mountain springs. The wetland is surounded by hills in three sides. The waterbody is relatively shallow with a maximum depth of 9.6 m. The climate of the area tends to be very arid with an average annual rainfall of less than 200 mm.

The site is an important staging and wintering area for grebes, pelicans, ducks, cranes and coots. It supports over 45,000 waterbirds. A total number of 128 bird species have so far been recorded in the area. The reservoir is an important source of fish including Mahasheer. It contains a variety of other fish species that increases in abundance during periods of high water levels.

The reservoir is protected within the Hub Dam Wildlife Sanctuary established in 1972.



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