Temporary Shelters for Migratory Birds: Sambhar Lake
- 07 Oct 2020
- 2 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Rajasthan government has decided to build temporary shelters for migratory birds near the Sambhar Lake (near Jaipur) before 2020’s winter season.
- Every year, a large number of birds from the cold northern regions of Central Asia come to Sambhar Lake.
- In 2019, more than 20,000 migratory birds died due to avian botulism in the lake.
- Rajasthan High Court took suo motu cognisance of the mass death and asked the expert committee to carry out an investigation and make recommendations.
- The Court has constituted a seven-member expert committee to study the impact of salt-forming and identify any illegal salt mining in the lake.
- It has suggested the state government seek the centre’s support for more funds for creating an infrastructure for the safety and security of birds.
- It is India's largest inland saline water body located near Jaipur in Rajasthan.
- It is surrounded on all sides by the Aravali hills.
- It is the source of most of Rajasthan's salt production.
- Sambhar has been designated as a Ramsar site (recognised wetland of international importance) because the wetland is a key wintering area for tens of thousands of flamingos and other migratory birds.
- It is a neuro-muscular illness caused by Botulinum (natural toxin) that is produced by bacteria, Clostridium botulinum.
- The bacteria is commonly found in the soil, rivers, and seawater. It affects both humans and animals.
- The bacteria also need anaerobic (absence of oxygen) conditions and do not grow in acidic conditions.
- The illness affects the nervous system of birds, leading to paralysis in their legs and wings.
- The outbreaks of avian botulism tend to occur when average temperatures are above 21 degrees celsius, and during droughts.