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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.

Key Points

  • 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.

Sambhar Lake

  • 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.

Avian Botulism

  • 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.

Source: TH

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