Tso Kar Wetland Complex – UPSC Prelims

  • India has added Tso Kar Wetland Complex in Ladakh as its 42nd Ramsar site which is a second one in the Union Territory (UT) of Ladakh.
  • Tso Kar Basin: It is a high-altitude wetland complex consisting of two principal waterbodies Startsapuk Tso( a freshwater lake of about 438 hectares to the south and Tso Kar (a hypersaline lake of 1800 hectares to the north) situated in the Changthang region of Ladakh, India.
  • Significance: It is also called Tso Kar meaning white lake because of the white salt efflorescence found on the margins due to the evaporation of highly saline water.
  • Important Bird Area: The Tso Kar Basin is an A1 Category Important Bird Area (IBA) as per Bird Life International and a key staging site in the Central Asian Flyway.
  • Important Breeding Ground: The site is one of the most important breeding areas of the Black-necked Crane (Grus nigricollis) in India. It is also the major breeding area for Great Crested Grebe Bar-headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Brown-headed Gull, Lesser Sand-Plover and many other species.
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