Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Keenjar Lake,Pakistan

Keenjar Lake is located in Thatta District, Sindh, Pakistan. It also called by the name "Kalri lake".Kalri Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Pakistan, which is 30 km long and 10 km wide. It plays a substantial ecological role in the functioning of the Indus River basin.During winter months the lake attracts several species of migratory birds. It is extremely important for a wide variety of breeding, passage and wintering waterbirds. The mid-winter waterbird counts of the late 1980s averaged 140,000 birds per winter.

Keenjhar Lake can be complete without mentioning a famous legend. In the middle of Keenhar Lake is a shrine dedicated to Noori.The shrine must have been pre 18th century.A ruler of a bygone era, Raja Jasodan issued orders that if his expecting wife delivered a baby girl, the baby was to be cast away in the river. As luck would have it, when the girl was born the Raja was away. So the mother gave the baby to a fisherman for adoption. The girl was so lively and bright that she was named Nuri (holy light). Later, Nuri was struck by leprosy. Out of depression and dejection she left her home and wandered until a Muslim saint, Pir Hoondal Shah, took pity on her. She served the Pir like a daughter. On his deathbed the saint told Nuri to bathe in the water of a particular spring, and foretold her marriage with a king. She did what he asked, and was cured of her leprosy. The saint died but some years later Nuri caught the eye of Jam Tamachi, who was the ruler of Sindh. They fell in love.when they died they were both buried at a location which now falls right in the middle of the lake. Theirs’ are the only two graves on an approximately twenty foot wide, round concrete platform in the lake, about 15 minutes by motorboat from the complex. The actual graves are said to be 50 feet below the surface of the surface.


Indus River Dolphin Pakistan

Indus river dolphin is world's rarest animal that is an endangered species of Dolphins found in a small area of Indus river near Sukkur town in the central Sindh province of Pakistan. The river Indus is getting dirtier and the water is being distributed into canals and dams which is giving this species of the Dolphin a hard time for survival.


There are very few people who have heard of the Blind Dolphins that are found in the Indus region and the Ganges, in south Asia. Unlike other dolphins, blind dolphins are found in rivers and not the sea!

These river dolphins are the only species in the world to have eyes without lenses! Instead, they have sound imaging skills called echolocation, which is a very sophisticated sonar system that helps them swim through the muddy rivers. They swim on one side underwater, and keep close to the bottom of the riverbed, which helps them navigate and find food.

The Indus River Dolphin has a long beak and a stocky body. It has a low triangular hump on its back in place of a 'true' dorsal fin. It is gray-brown in color, sometimes with a pinkish belly. The eyes are extremely small, resembling pinhole openings slightly above the mouth. The Indus River dolphin measures between 1.5 - 2.5 m (5 - 8') in length and weighs 80 - 90 kg (180 - 200 lb). It is found exclusively in freshwater, living not only in the main channels, but also, during the flood season, in seasonal tributaries and the flooded lowlands. These dolphins favor silt-laden, turbid waters, at temperatures between 8 - 33?C (46 - 91?F).
The Indus River dolphin feeds mostly on several species of fish and invertebrates. It does much of its feeding at or near the bottom, using echolocation, swimming on one side, and probing the river bottom with its snout and its flipper. Although it is not usually considered to be gregarious, relatively high densities are found at sites where rivers join, in areas where the current is relatively weak, off the mouths of irrigation canals, and near villages and ferry routes.

The Indus River dolphin was apparently formerly common and distributed throughout 3,500 km (2200 mi) of the Indus River system in Pakistan. It was found from the Himalayan foothills to the mouth of the Indus, and in the main tributaries from the hills to their junction with the Indus. By the early 1970's its range had declined drastically to less than 700 km (430 mi) of river length. The majority of the remaining population lived between the Sukkur and Guddu barrages in Sind Province. This region continues to harbor the majority of the remaining population. Besides Sind Province, the Indus River dolphin also exists in Punjab Province, but it continues to decline. The blind dolphins are an endangered species.The dolphins are threatened by chemical and other pollution, dam building, accidental entanglement in fishing nets, and by humans hunting them for their meat as well as their oil, which people think has medicinal value.


There are fewer than 4,000 to 6,000 blind river dolphins left and the number is fast decreasing

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Green Turtle in Pakistan

The beaches of Pakistan are some of the most important nesting grounds for the Green Turtles. Each year thousands of female Green Turtles come to the beaches of Hawksbay and Sandspit off the coast of Karachi to lay their eggs. The Sind Wildlife Department in collaboration with WWF-Pakistan is working on a project for safe release of turtle hatchling to the Arabian sea since 1980's. Green Turtle nests are laid throughout the year, with most nests occurring between July and December. The egg are carefully kept in closed enclosers and released after the hatchlings are hatched. 

 The Green Turtle is the largest of the hard-shelled sea turtles (the Leatherback Dermochelys can grow much larger) although size, weight, and carapace shape can vary markedly between different populations. Average nesting female carapace length 80 to 110cm and weighs 110 to 185kg.

The Green Turtle eats exclusively seagrass and seaweed (algae). The Green Turtle forages in shallow, inshore waters. Aggregations of Green Turtles often occur over shallow-water seagrass pastures or other suitable feeding grounds. Migrating Green Turtles may travel 20 to 40km per day. It is suggested that migratory behaviour is particularly linked with herbivory, since the richest feeding grounds (notably sea grasses) are most often found in shallow areas of coastal deposition, and do not typically coincide with the best nesting grounds (often isolated predator-free island beaches). Females do not attain maturity in the wild for 15 to 50 years. After a period of two to five decades, females typically migrate to a nesting beach often used by aggregations of turtles. Females remigrate at intervals of three years, and may lay three clutches of 100 to 120 eggs. Hatchlings emerge mostly at night from eggs buried in beach sand and make their way to the sea.
Public awareness and co-operation is essential in order to achieve the best of the turtle protection project. People who visit Sandspit and Hawksbay beaches for picnic, should realise that these beaches are the crucial abodes with no choice for turtles to multiply their population, in other words, to continue their existence in this region.