The Economic Times

How a Rajasthan lake became a graveyard of birds

PTI|
​Avian botulism: Deadly disease kills thousands of birds
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​Avian botulism: Deadly disease kills thousands of birds

A mass death of migratory birds at the Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan occurred due to avian botulism, a serious neuro-muscular illness caused by a toxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

ANI
​Mass bird deaths
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​Mass bird deaths

Birds from some 25 species have been affected so far, including water birds such as stilts, shovelers and sandpipers, gulls, terns, and also bee-eaters and kites.

Over 17,000 birds were found dead in the past a few days in the lake area, which is known for migratory birds.

PTI
​What's killing migratory birds?
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​What's killing migratory birds?

The report had proved that the steps taken by them to control the death of birds and the treatment given to them was in the right direction.

PTI
​Further investigation
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​Further investigation

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot was monitoring the situation and had held several meetings with various departments in this regard.

He had also requested Union Minister of Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar for the further investigation of sick birds.

BCCL
​Treatment
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​Treatment

So far 735 sick birds had been treated by the Animal Husbandry Department, of which 368 were alive, while 36 had been released.

PTI
​Sambhar, a wetland
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​Sambhar, a wetland

Sambhar has been designated a Ramsar site — a wetland designated to be of international importance — because of the staggering diversity of birds it attracts, even though some parts of the lake are used for salt production.

It was early this month that villagers and birdwatchers began to notice decomposed carcasses on the shores.

BCCL
​Plan of action
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​Plan of action

Environmentalist and honorary secretary of Tourism & Wildlife Society of India, Harsh Vardhan, visited the lake and said, “Since migratory birds will soon be arriving for winter, the forest department should intiate a plan of action.”

PTI

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