Pong Wetland
 Himachal Pradesh
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  This wetland is the first major wetland which potentially offers a transitory resting reserve for the migratory birds coming from the Trans Himalayan zone in the winter season when the wetlands in the Europe and North and Central Asia become frozen due to onset of winters. Flocks of waterfowls that breed in these areas in summer undertake migration to Pong to spend winter in more congenial climatic conditions every year during the winter season from October to March. The total catchments area of 12562 Sq.km. extends in Kangra, Mandi and Kullu Districts. The area of water body varies from 125 sq Km at minimum water level at 1280 ft in summer season to about 220 Sq Km at the maximum water level of 1390 Feet in rainy season and also leaving behind the maximum draw down area of about 80 sq Km. This sanctuary was indentified under Conservation and Management of wetlands programme in 1994 by the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Govt. of India .
  Pong wetland earned the distinction of being selected as an international RAMSAR site in year 2002. This is first wetland of the state to have been given the global arm of protection. The Pong dam reservoir extends between latitudes31° 49' to 32° 14 1 N and longitudes 75° 53 to 76° 17 1 E. Dhauladhar Mountains are feeder of water supply to Pong Lake. Below Pong dam, a barrage was constructed during 1985-86 at Sathana. From this barrage, Sahanahar canal originates. The total distance of Pong to Barrage is about 4 Km. This barrage constitutes a shallow water body enclosing about 3 Sq Km.s
  The climate of the region is sub-tropical. The summer season extends from mid-March to mid July and the monsoon season is from early July to mid-September. Winters are mild, starting in early December and lasting till mid-March. The temperatures range from a maximum 47° C in summer to a low of 3.5° C in winter. The rainfall is generally heavy continuous from July to September.
  Geomorphologically the wetland is located in a typical inter - mountain valley filled with thick pile of fluvial deposits. From the central portion of the waterbody, fluvial terraces can be easily demarcated . In fact,the place named Tarrace is an example of old terrace of the river Beas which drained the valley from southeastern side. Sediments constituting the valley fill ranges that from boulders to sand grains. Streams that joins the water body from the northern side are straight and some of them are structurally controlled with little meandering. Mud fiats exposed during the lean period constitute the broad belt all along the waterbody. There is a Clear cut distinction between the physiographical & fluvial feature on the northern and southern side of the water body. Streamlets joining the water body in the southern side are ephemeral in nature and locally called choes. The soils by & large are alluvial & sandy loam in texture obtained from the weathering of sand stones & conglomerates.
  The right bank of the Beas has meager forests in small pockets whereas on the left bank from Dehra to Terrace, there are linear strips of scrub forest. There are several tree species which produce edible fruit for the birds. There is also some submerged aquatic vegetation in the wetland but pronounced seasonal changes in water level & shore line does not support extensive areas of emergent vegetation. Main tree species of the tract having attraction for the bird are. Acacia,Jamun, Shisham, Mango , Mulberry, Ficus, Kachnar, Amla & Prunus Apart from these tree species a variety of shrubs grasses & climbers are also found in these forests. The wildlife species found in Pongdam wetland are Nilgai, Sambhar Barking
  Deer wild boar. Common Monkey , Jackal, Leopard Jungle Cat, Mongoose , Pangolin, Bats,snake, butterfiies etc. The wetland attracts more than 220 species of migratory & resident birds & is an important wintering area for a large number of black headed Gulls Brahminy ducks Bar headed geese, Shovlers, Plovers, Grebes, Cormorants, Darters, Herons, Moorhes Egrets, storks, Bar-headed Geese, Ruddy Shelduck, Pintails, Coots, Pochards, Gulls, Grebes, Cormorants, Mallards etc. A large variety of fish such as Mahaseer, Katla , Minor carps, Rohoo, Singhara etc are found in the Pong dam and its tributaries. A total of 27 fish species belonging to 5 families have been recorded .

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