Jaipur · Jaipur Beat · sambhar lake

How Sambhar Lake turned into a graveyard for 18,000 birds?

India’s largest Saline water lake Sambhar lake, i.e home to both native and migrant birds and also one of the best places in the country for bird watching is facing a severe wildlife tragedy. The devastating news of the mysterious death of more than 18,000 birds at Sambhar Lake came out as a shock to everyone. It was the villagers and birdwatchers that began to notice the decomposed carcasses of the birds early this month that gradually increased the numbers in thousands. And soon it caught the world’s attention.

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After the scientists did the research it was found out that the birds were infected by avian botulism. This is caused by a neurotoxin protein produced by bacteria named Clostridium botulinum. It was all because of heavy rain in July that the lake became brimful with water leading to a reduction in its salinity. So, when the water evaporated and filtrated into dry soil, across the edges of the lake it increased the salinity. Hence, the low-levels of saline water provided an ideal location for the manifestation of botulism and that caused the death of thousands of birds.

The Chief Minister ordered to dispose of the carcasses appropriately so that it does not spread around the areas. And that precautionary step is being taken so that the migratory birds that migrate to Sambhar Lake during winters do not get infected.