The meteor lake at Lonar in Buldhana district has been declared a Ramsar site, a conservation status conferred by International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.
The lake is part of Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the second Ramsar site in the state after Nandur Madhmeshwar Bird Sanctuary in Nashik district, which was declared a Ramsar site in January.
The Lonar lake, situated in the Deccan Plateau’s volcanic basalt rock, was created by the impact of a meteor 35,000 to 50,000 years ago. The water in the lake is highly saline and alkaline, containing special microorganisms like anaerobes, Cyanobacteria and phytoplankton. The site also has 160 bird, 46 reptile and 12 mammal species.
The Ramsar status has been achieved due to sustained efforts by a team led by Field Director Srinivas Reddy of Melghat Tiger Reserve that commands and controls the Lonar sanctuary.
“With Ramsar status, Lonar will benefit in terms of international publicity and prestige, financial aid through the convention’s grant and bring access to expert advice on national and site-related problems of Lonar wetlands,” read a press note issued by the forest department.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has congratulated the forest department for the achievement.
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