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- Nature walk organised along the Palak Lake , Aizawl, Mizoram. The Palak Lake wetland conservation area is rich in biodiversity and falls under the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot.
About the lake
- Palak Dil or Pala Tipo (Mara language for "swallowing lake") is the largest and biggest lake in Mizoram.
- It is located near Phura village in Saiha district, within the Mara Autonomous District Council in the southern most district of Mizoram.
- Its geographical location falls under the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspot, and is therefore rich in animal and plant species.
- The lake is a major component of the Palak Wildlife Sanctuary, and it supports the major biodiversity of the sanctuary.
- Palak Dil is said to be formed around 800-1200 CE.
- It coincided with the period of westward migration of Mara people from Burma.
- The origin of Palak Dil is a well known folktale among Mizo people.
- It is believed that a village exists below the lake, some people believes that the lake is haunted by ghosts and demons.
- Palak Dil is home to a number of resident and migratory animals.
- It is particularly rich in a variety of birds, including endemic bird species.
- The water is inhabited by common and unique species of fishes.
- More than 70 species of birds have been recorded from the lake and its shore.
- Among unique species are Nepal fulvetta, white-bellied yuhina, little spiderhunter, streaked spinderhunter, yellow wagtail, black-capped kingfisher, hooded pitta, spot-breasted scimitar babbler, and white-rumped munia, which are rarely seen in other parts of the region.
- In addition aquatic birds and wild ducks in Palak Dil are found nowhere else in Mizoram.
- Palak Dil and its surrounding area covering 15 km2. is declared as a protected area under the Palak Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The surrounding forest is extensively exploited due to shifting cultivation.
- It has been designated as a protected Ramsar site since 2021.
- Nature has liberally painted a variety of landscapes in our country.
- Many of these have been demarcated as Biodiversity Hotspots — areas that have extremely rich and diverse flora and fauna and are under threat of getting endangered.
- Officially, four out of the 36 Biodiversity Hotspots in the world are present in India: the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the Indo-Burma region and the Sundaland.
- Broad-leaved trees giving way to evergreen forests of oak and conifers to alpine meadows at much higher elevations where trees can’t grow because of the harsh climate and only ground-hugging plants thrive.
- The Indo-Burma region, one of the largest hotspots, covers Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos PDR and also includes the Gangetic plains, areas around the Brahmaputra river and parts of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
- This hotspot comprises plains that are fed with rich alluvial soil by several large Asian rivers besides the Ganga and Brahmaputra.
- Although it is one of the most biologically rich areas, it is also the most threatened.
- Many of the species found here like the Annamite muntjac and grey-crowned crocias have rarely been seen by human eyes.
- The International Union for Conservation of Nature has declared the Western Ghats, which run from north to south just beyond the western coast of India, as a World Heritage Site.
- The montane tropical rain forests on these slopes shelter a variety of animals like tigers, black panthers, and leopards.
- In the southern forests live the arboreal and shy lion-tailed macaques who are in grave danger of going extinct, as man’s activities are causing their forests to shrink.
- During the monsoon, one can spot the weird pig-nosed purple frog in these forests.
- The part of India that falls in the Sundaland Hotspot is the Nicobar Islands.
- Interestingly, it extends to the tectonic plates under the Indian Ocean.
- The hotspot is home to iconic species like orangutans, pig-tailed langurs, Javan and Sumatran rhinos, and proboscis monkeys found only in Borneo.
- Sundaland also has the distinction of being home to the world’s largest flowers, the rafflesia, which measure one metre across.
Q) Which of the following statements with reference to Biodiversity Hotspots in India is/are correct?
1. 6 out of the 36 Biodiversity Hotspots in the world are present in India.
2. The part of India that falls in the Sundaland Hotspot is the Nicobar Islands.
Correct Answer: 2