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Conservation

Threats to the Deepor Beel

Deepor Beel, a Ramsar site near Guwahati in Assam, known for its fish and bird diversity and rich aquatic vegetation that attracts wild elephants, faces conservation threats from garbage dumping, quarrying, and the construction of a railway line, besides a smart city project.

 

Wild Asiatic elephants frolicking and foraging in Deepor Beel on the outskirts of Guwahati.
Wild Asiatic elephants frolicking and foraging in Deepor Beel on the outskirts of Guwahati. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
1/20
Egrets in flight over the “beel” (lake).
Egrets in flight over the “beel” (lake). Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
2/20
A pair of ruddy shelduck.
A pair of ruddy shelduck. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
3/20
A flock of two male and three female cotton pygmy goose, or cotton teal.
A flock of two male and three female cotton pygmy goose, or cotton teal. Photo: The Hindu
4/20
 Some parts of the hill landscape of the wetland are getting denuded owing to stone mining and earth excavation.
Some parts of the hill landscape of the wetland are getting denuded owing to stone mining and earth excavation. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
5/20
A flock of glossy ibis.
A flock of glossy ibis.Photo: The Hindu
6/20
A grey heron.
A grey heron.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
7/20
Community fishing   in the lake. A file picture. Unregulated fishing is threatening the lake’s ecosystem.
Community fishing in the lake. A file picture. Unregulated fishing is threatening the lake’s ecosystem.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
8/20
  Once abundant  in the wetlands of the north-eastern region, the giant water lily is now found only in a few wetlands because of large-scale harvesting of its seeds by destroying the plant.  A villager turns the leaf to collect the seeds, in Deepor Beel.
Once abundant in the wetlands of the north-eastern region, the giant water lily is now found only in a few wetlands because of large-scale harvesting of its seeds by destroying the plant. A villager turns the leaf to collect the seeds, in Deepor Beel.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
9/20
 According to the Assam Forest Department, the increased presence of human beings on the southern bank of the wetland may prevent the movement of wild elephants from the Rani and Garbhanga forests.
According to the Assam Forest Department, the increased presence of human beings on the southern bank of the wetland may prevent the movement of wild elephants from the Rani and Garbhanga forests. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
10/20
The wetland area has been suffering from environmental degradation due to continuous encroachment and waste dumping. The Guwahati Municipality dump yard, located at Boragaon, lies in the eastern corner of Deepor Beel.
The wetland area has been suffering from environmental degradation due to continuous encroachment and waste dumping. The Guwahati Municipality dump yard, located at Boragaon, lies in the eastern corner of Deepor Beel. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
11/20
According to experts,  many fish species in Deepor Beel have become extinct and many are facing the threat of extinction because of continuous water pollution.
According to experts, many fish species in Deepor Beel have become extinct and many are facing the threat of extinction because of continuous water pollution.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
12/20
Further alteration  of the “beel” landscape can cause flash floods.
Further alteration of the “beel” landscape can cause flash floods.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
13/20
The wetland ecosystem is disturbed by the railroad in its southern boundary.
The wetland ecosystem is disturbed by the railroad in its southern boundary. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
14/20
An elephant crossing a railway track running along Deepor Beel.
An elephant crossing a railway track running along Deepor Beel. Photo: AP
15/20
An seriously injured baby elephant, which was knocked down by a train in Deepor Beel.
An seriously injured baby elephant, which was knocked down by a train in Deepor Beel. Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
16/20
Two Asiatic elephants knocked down  by a passing train.
Two Asiatic elephants knocked down by a passing train.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
17/20
Unplanned urbanisation  around Deepor Beel has reduced the original water spread area.
Unplanned urbanisation around Deepor Beel has reduced the original water spread area.Photo: PTI
18/20
(Right and   far right)  Rag pickers and a muster of greater adjutant storks at the garbage dumping site.
(Right and far right) Rag pickers and a muster of greater adjutant storks at the garbage dumping site.Photo: RITU RAJ KONWAR
19/20
The rail  and road corridors around Deepor Beel.
The rail and road corridors around Deepor Beel.
20/20