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Lonar’s meteor lake declared Ramsar site

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    14th Nov, 2020


  • The meteor lake at Lonar in Buldhana district has been declared a Ramsar site, a conservation status conferred by International Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

Key highlights of the Site

  • The lake is part of Lonar Wildlife Sanctuary, in Maharashtra.
  • 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.

What is the significance of being declared as Ramsar Site?

  • 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.

Some of the features of Lonar Lake

  • The Lonar lake is situated in the Deccan Plateau’s volcanic basalt rock.
  • It 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.
  • Recently, the color of Lonar lake water had turned pink due to a large presence of the salt-loving "haloarchaea" microbes.
  • Haloarchaea or halophilic archaea is a bacteria culture that produces pink pigment and is found in water saturated with salt.

Ramsar Sites

  • There are 41 Ramsar sites in India. These are wetlands deemed to be of "international importance" under the Ramsar Convention.
  • This is the list of wetlands of international importanceas defined by the Ramsar Convention for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands, recognizing the fundamental ecological functions of wetlands and their economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value.
  • It is also known as the Convention on Wetlands. It is named after the city of Ramsar in Iran, where the convention was signed in 1971

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