Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary

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The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest recently issued a draft notification declaring a one-kilometre area from the boundaries of the Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary in Kangra district as an eco-sensitive zone.

About Pong Dam Lake Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Location: It is situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh.
  • It covers an area of almost 307 sq km.
  • Pong Dam Lake (also known as Maharana Pratap Sagar) is a manmade reservoir formed due to the construction of Pong Dam on the Beas River in the wetland zone of Shivalik Hills.
  • In 1983, the entire reservoir was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary by the Himachal Pradesh government.
  • One of the largest man-made wetlands in Northern India, Pong Dam also serves as a sanctuary for the largest population of migratory birds, along with a number of endemic species.
  • Pong Dam Lake was declared a Ramsar Site in November 2002.
  • The climate of the region is sub-tropical.
  • Flora:
    • There are several tree species that produce edible fruit for the birds.
    • There is also some submerged aquatic vegetation in the wetland, but pronounced seasonal changes in water level and shoreline do not support extensive areas of emergent vegetation.
    • The main tree species include Acacia, Jamun, Shisham, Mango, Mulberry, Ficus Kachnar, Amla, and Prunus.
  • Fauna:
    • It includes animals like Sambar, Barking Deer, Wild Bear, Nilgai, Clawless Otter, and Leopards. 
    • Avifauna include Bar headed geese, Pintails, common pochards, coots, Grebes, Cormorants, Herons, Storks, , angle fowls, peafowl, Grey partridges, etc.

Q1) What is an eco-sensitive zone?

An eco-sensitive zone (ESZ) is an area that is identified and demarcated around protected areas such as national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves, to minimize the impact of developmental activities on the ecosystem.

Source: Assembly in Session: 1 km around Pong sanctuary declared eco-sensitive zone