What is a bird sanctuary?

What is a bird sanctuary?

  • A bird sanctuary is a natural area that is designed to protect and conserve various species of birds and their natural habitats alongwith their rehabilitation and survival.

Need for Thinungei Bird Sanctuary

  • Loktak’s wetland cluster has witnessed a sharp fall in numbers of birds- both migratory and residents.
  • According to Loktak Waterbird Census 2018, the number of birds in the area has declined by 75% since 2016.
  • Reasons for decline:
    • Human intrusion
    • Bird poaching
    • Hydroelectric power project
  • So, in order to combat the menace of widespread bird poaching at the lake, setting up of the sanctuary is a must.
  • Also, India is a signatory to the Convention on Migratory Species and should take steps to conserve the migratory species.


About Loktak lake

  • It is the largest freshwater lake in Manipur and is famous for the phumdis. Phumdis are the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matters at various stages of decomposition which is floating over the lake.

  • Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, the lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.
  • It was also listed under the Montreux Record, which is a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur.
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park is an integral part of the lake and is the only floating national park in the world.
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park is the natural habitat of the endangered Brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi) which was once thought to be extinct, and it was declared a national park only to preserve and conserve this species.


National Action Plan to save migratory birds

  • In September 2018, India launched a 5-year national action plan to save migratory birds flying in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF).
  • The Central Asian Flyway (CAF) is a flyway that covers the large continental area of Eurasia between the Arctic and Indian Oceans and the associated island chains.
  • India is an important part in the flyway as it provides critical stopover sites to over 90% of the bird species known to use this migratory route. The plan is to protect several wetlands and other natural habitats of migratory birds.


Previously asked questions in UPSC prelims

Question 1:

Which of the following National Park is unique in being a swamp with floating vegetation that supports a rich biodiversity?

a. Bhitarkanika National Park

b. Keibul Lamjao National Park

c. Keoladeo Ghana National Park

d. Sultanpur National Park


Answer: b


Question 2:

Consider the following pairs:

  1. Nokrek Biosphere Reserve : Garo Hills
  2. Loktak Lake : Barail Range
  3. Namdapha National Park : Dafla Hills

Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

    1. 1 only
    2. 2 and 3 only
    3. 1, 2 and 3
    4. None


Answer: a


Section : Environment & Ecology