Lake Urmia, habitat of some 35,000 flamingos

April 29, 2018

TEHRAN – Some 35,000 migratory flamingos are now living in Lake Urmia and the seasonally-flooded wetlands in the region, said an official with West Azarbaijan province’s department of environment.

These birds are living in the lake since last spring, and due to favorable weather and environmental conditions around the lake, they didn’t migrate this year, Omid Yousefi said on Saturday.

Nearly 10,000 of these Flamingos are in the breeding stage, Yousefi added, according to IRNA.

Flamingos mainly feed from small organisms living in the lake, especially Artemia, he said, adding that appropriate precipitation rate during last year has positively affected the population of Artemia.

Seasonally-flooded wetlands of the region such as Hassanlou and Kani Barazan are among the most important habitats of flamingos, he highlighted.

Flamingo is an indispensable member of Lake Urmia’s biodiversity. Some 20 years ago, around 100,000 to 200,000 flamingos annually migrated to the lake to have a stay in this rich region, however, the lake’s degradation in recent years has significantly decreased the number of these migratory birds.

The administration have launched plans for restoring the lake; however, the lake is too far from its former glory. And it seems that its full restoration is impossible.

Climate change, drought, excessive water exploitation, inefficient irrigation methods and unrestrained damming projects are among the main reasons behind the lake’s desiccation.

MAH/MQ

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