Lonar Lake and Sur Sarovar Lake added to Ramsar site

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change recently announced that the Lonar Lake in Maharashtra and Sur Sarovar lake in Uttar Pradesh have been added to the Ramsar sites. The Lonar lake is the only crater lake in the country. The Sur Sarovar lake is also called the Keetham lake.

Lonar Lake

It was created by asteroid collision during Pleistocene Epoch. The crater sits inside the Deccan Traps of the Deccan Plateau. It 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. The canal originates from Okhla barrage on River Yamuna in Delhi.

Ramsar sites

The aim of the Ramsar sites is to maintain international network of wetlands that are important for sustaining global biological diversity. The Ramsar Convention was signed in 1971 and is one of the oldest inter-governmental accord.

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