Winged guests skip date with fast-drying Sambhar Lake

  • Rashpal Singh, Jaipur
  • |
  • Updated: May 04, 2014 23:14 IST

The arrival of migratory birds at Sambhar Lake is decreasing year by year.

According to the first ever Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) carried out at Sambhar Lake, second Ramsar site (related to wetland) in Rajasthan, fewer birds are sighted there due to drying up of lake and increasing human activity in vicinity.

The census carried out in January and March this year by Wetlands International South Asia with active support from the Rajasthan forest department has found that during mid-winter Sambhar Lake Habitat was in drying condition and recorded only 30 water bird species.

The census was carried out to review the habitat status of birds at Sambhar Lake, the largest inland saline lake, and adjacent existing smaller water bodies in coordination with the forest department and participation of local volunteers from Phulera.

The survey also revealed during late winters when temperature rises, the lake further dries up. At this time, the census recorded 30 species of water birds including Lesser Flamingos and Black-tailed Godwit, two threatened species listed in International Union for Conservation of nature (IUCN Red-list).

A number of migratory birds were found even on the drying tiny water bodies including sewage ponds.

However, population of Greater Flamingos and Lesser Flamingos were less, said ecologist and AWC Delhi state coordinator, TK Roy. Roy said the lake is fast degrading but still sighting of 30 water bird species at the time of de-migration in late winter give some hope.

“There is need of immediate attention from concerned authorities to initiate needful conservation efforts for restoration and sustainability of the lake and aquatic biodiversity with special focus to birdlife. Otherwise within a short span of time existing wetlands will vanish forever from Sambhar,” Roy cautions.


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