16 November 2020.
The Lonar lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar, also known as Keetham lake, in Agra, have been added to the list of recognised Ramsar sites.: announced by the Ministry Of Environment and Climate Change.
About Ramsar Convention:
- The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance Especially as Waterfowl Habitat is a treaty for conservation and sustainable use of such sites.
- It is named after Ramsar, the Iranian city where the treaty was signed in 1971, and places chosen for conservation under it are given the tag ‘Ramsar site.’
- It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands.
- It aims to develop a global network of wetlands for conservation of biological diversity and for sustaining human life.
- Wetlands provide a wide range of important resources and ecosystem services such as food, water, fibre, groundwater recharge, water purification, flood moderation, erosion control and climate regulation.
- Over 170 countries are party to the Ramsar Convention and over 2,000 designated sites covering over 20 crore hectares have been recognised under it.
Ramsar Sites in India:
- India now has 41 wetlands which is the highest in South Asia, after the above two got added to the list of recognised sites of international importance under the treaty of Ramsar Convention.
- The Asan Conservation Reserve in Dehradun, the first wetland from Uttarakhand to be recognised by Ramsar convention, was added to the list in October this year.
The other 38 Ramsar sites in India include
- Chilika Lake in Odisha
- Keoladeo National Park in Rajasthan
- Harike Lake in Punjab
- Loktak Lake in Manipur
- Wular Lake in Jammu and Kashmir
About Lonar Lake
- It was created by asteroid collision during Pleistocene Epoch.
- The crater sits inside the Deccan Traps of the Deccan Plateau
- t has 160 birds, 12 mammal species and 46 reptiles. Two small streams called Penganga and Purna drain into Lonar lake.
Unique Findings about Lonar Lake
- In 2019, researchers of IIT Bombay found that the minerals found in Lonar lake are very similar to those found in the moon.
- In 2007, nitrogen fixation was discovered in the lake.
Lonar Lake Pink Colorization
- The Lonar lake is usually green in colour due to the presence of Cyanobacteria.
- The lake in June 2020 turned pink. Later, it was found that this was due to the presence of salt loving bacteria called haloarchea or halophilic archaea.
- These bacteria are associated with high salinity.
- The pink colour of the lake was not permanent and according to the scientists, the water will become transparent after the biomass of the microbes settled at the bottom.
Why did the lake turn pink?
Absence of rain and high temperatures resulted in evaporation of water in the lake. This increased the salinity and pH of the lake that facilitated the growth of halophilic microbes.
Keetham Lake or sur Sarovar Lake
- More than 106 species of migratory birds rest in Sur Sarovar lake.
- The water of the lake is obtained from Agra Canal.
- he canal originates from Okhla barrage on River Yamuna in Delhi.