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Plan to build temporary bird shelters near Sambhar Lake

News: Rajasthan government has decided to build temporary shelters for migratory birds near the Sambhar Lake (near Jaipur) before 2020’s winter season.

Facts:

  • Sambhar Lake: It is India’s largest inland saline water body located near Jaipur in Rajasthan.
  • Geography: 
    • The lake is surrounded on all sides by the Aravali hills and is spread across Jaipur and Nagaur districts and also a part of Ajmer district in Rajasthan.
    • The lake receives water from five rivers Medtha, Samaod, Mantha, Rupangarh, Khari and Khandela.
  • Significance: The lake was also designated as a Ramsar site in 1990.It is also famous for salt production and is also an Important Bird Area(IBA).
  • Why there is a need for shelters: 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.

Additional Facts:

  • 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.
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