Deepor Beel Wetland-Relevance for UPSC
- GS Paper 3: Environment-Conservation, environmental pollution, and degradation.
Deepor Beel Wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary- Context
- Recently, the Ministry of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change notified the eco-sensitive zone of the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The notification specified an area “to an extent varying from 294 metres to 16.32 km” as the eco-sensitive zone, with the total area being 148.9767 sq. km.
Deepor Beel wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary- Key Points
- Location of Deepor Beel sanctuary: it is one of the largest perennial freshwater lakes of Assam, located 10 km south-west of Guwahati city.
- Ecological significance of Deepor Beel sanctuary: it is a unique habitat for aquatic flora and avian fauna.
- About 150 species of birds have been recorded in the sanctuary, out of which two are critically endangered, one endangered, five vulnerable and four near-threatened.
- It also houses 12 species of reptiles, 50 species of fishes, and six amphibian species.
Deepor Beel wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary– Conservation status
- Ramsar site: Deepor Beel was designated a Ramsar site in 2002. It is the only lake from Assam to get into the list of important Ramsar wetlands.
- Bird sanctuary: 14 sq km of the total area of Deepor Beel sanctuary was declared as a Bird Sanctuary by the Assam Government in 1989.
- Important Bird Area (IBA): declared by Birdlife International due to the richness of avian fauna and habituating many migrant species in the sanctuary.
- Eco-sensitive zone: as notified by the MoEFCC.
Deepor Beel wetland and Wildlife Sanctuary– Conservation Concerns
- Sponge for Guwahati’s sewage: Deepor Beel has long been used as a sponge for Guwahati’s sewage via a couple of streams.
- Toxification of Wetland water: The wetland has also suffered from seepage of toxins from a garbage dump at Boragaon adjoining it.
- The Deepor Beel wetland is an integral part of the elephant habitat but due to toxification, the lake has lost many of its aquatic plants that elephants would feed on.
- Human encroachment: Deepor Beel is adjacent to Guwahati city, hence, facing immense biotic pressure by way of human settlements and ever-increasing development activities.
- Ever-increasing Railway track along the southern boundary of the wetland, which is set to be doubled and electrified.
Also, read New Ramsar Sites in India