Protest against proposed bird sanctuary near Loktak lake

The proposed bird sanctuary at the Loktak lake in Bishnupur district, Manipur  is facing stiff opposition from the villagers in nearby areas. 

  • A large number of residents of Thingnunggei village took out a massive procession against the state government’s proposal on January 20, 2019.
  • Cause of protest: According to the protesters,  the villagers of Thingnunggei are poor and they have no other means of earning a livelihood except for catching fish and plucking vegetables from the lake. If fishing is banned in the lake, the villagers would starve.  
  • Why Bird Sanctuary: Actually, thousands of migratory birds flock to the Loktak lake every year. But in the past few years there has been a sharp decline in the number of migratory birds coming to the lake. Poaching is one of causes behind the less number of birds coming to lake.  Another cause is hydroelectric power project near the lake. 

About Loktak Lake

  • Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater (sweet) lake in North -East India, also called the only Floating lake in the world due to the floating phumdis on it. Phumdis are heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil, and organic matters at various stages of decomposition. 
  • It is located near Moirang in Manipur.
  • The etymology of Loktak is Lok = “stream” and tak = “the end”.
  • The Keibul Lamjao National Park, which is the last natural refuge of the endangered sangai or Manipur brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld’s Deer, covering an area of 40 km2 (15 sq mi), is situated in the southeastern shores of this lake and is the largest of all the phumdis in the lake.

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