Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Keibul Lamjao National Park

Keibul Lamjao National Park UPSC

Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in the state of Manipur in northeastern India. It is the only floating national park in the world and is renowned for being the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai, also known as the Manipur brow-antlered deer or dancing deer.


The most distinctive feature of Keibul Lamjao National Park is the Phumdis. Phumdis are circular floating mats of vegetation that support the park's flora and fauna. 


Keibul Lamjao National Park has been recognized as a Ramsar Site, highlighting its international significance as a wetland habitat.


Table of Contents

  • Keibul Lamjao National Park Location
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park History
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park Area
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park River
    • Manipur River
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park Lake
    • Loktak Lake
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park Tribe
    • Meitei Community
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park Flora
    • Phumdi Vegetation
    • Aquatic Plants
    • Marshland Flora
    • Riparian Vegetation
    • Terrestrial Forests
  • What is Phumdi?
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park Fauna
    • Mammals
    • Birds
    • Reptiles
    • Fishes
  • Sangai Deer
  • Top Things to do in Keibul Lamjao National Park
  • Keibul Lamjao National Park UPSC Questions


Keibul Lamjao National Park Location

Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur, India. It is situated in the southern part of Loktak Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake in northeastern India and well known for the floating biomass called phumdis. 


The Keibul Lamjao National Park is surrounded by the wetlands and marshes of the Loktak lake.


Keibul Lamjao National Park Nearest Airport:

  • Imphal International Airport (Tulihal International Airport) (30 Kms)


Keibul Lamjao National Park Nearest Railway Station:

  • Jiribam Railway Station (240 Kms).


Keibul Lamjao National Park By Road:

  • NH-2, NH-37 and NH-29 (240 Kms from District Hq.)




Keibul Lamjao National Park History

Keibul Lamjao National Park has a unique history that revolves around the conservation of the Sangai deer and the preservation of its habitat. Here's a brief overview of the park's history:


Early Conservation Efforts: The conservation efforts for the Sangai deer and its habitat began in the 1950s. The Sangai deer, endemic to Manipur, faced severe threats from habitat loss, hunting, and human disturbances. Realizing the need to protect this endangered species, the government of Manipur initiated measures to safeguard its habitat.


Establishment of Keibul Lamjao Sanctuary: In 1966, Keibul Lamjao Sanctuary was established to protect the Sangai deer and its habitat. Initially, it covered an area of 40 square kilometers (15 square miles) within the Loktak Lake region. The sanctuary aimed to provide a safe haven for the deer and conserve the unique floating vegetation and wetland ecosystem.


Recognition as a National Park: In 1977, Keibul Lamjao Sanctuary was upgraded to the status of a national park, becoming Keibul Lamjao National Park. This upgrade provided additional protection and conservation measures for the Sangai deer and its habitat. It also highlighted the international significance of the park as a wetland ecosystem.


Ramsar Site Designation: In 1990, Keibul Lamjao National Park was designated as a Ramsar Site, recognizing its international importance as a wetland habitat. This designation further emphasized the need for conservation and sustainable management of the park's wetland ecosystem.


Montreux Record: The park was also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993, "a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur"


Conservation Success and Recovery: Over the years, conservation efforts and strict protection measures have resulted in the recovery of the Sangai deer population. The park's unique floating vegetation, known as phumdis, provides a safe and suitable habitat for the deer. The population, which had declined to critically low levels, has shown signs of recovery, although it still remains endangered.



The history of Keibul Lamjao National Park reflects the ongoing efforts to protect and conserve the unique wetland habitat and the endangered Sangai deer. It showcases the significance of collaborative conservation measures in preserving fragile ecosystems and their associated species.




Keibul Lamjao National Park Area

Keibul Lamjao National Park covers an area of approximately 40 square kilometers (15 square miles). The actual size of the park may slightly vary due to natural fluctuations in the floating vegetation and the dynamics of the wetland ecosystem. 


Keibul Lamjao National Park is an integral part of Loktak Lake (140 km2). South western portion of Loktak Lake forms the Keibul Lamjao National Park which is a continuous mass of Phumdi occupying an area of 40 km2.




Keibul Lamjao National Park River

Manipur River passes through Keibul Lamjao National Park.




Keibul Lamjao National Park Lake

Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in the southern part of Loktak Lake, the largest freshwater lake in northeastern India. The park itself is an integral part of Loktak Lake and is situated on the floating vegetation mats called "Phumdi" within the lake. Phumdis are the heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition.


Loktak Lake covers an area of approximately 140 square kilometers (54 square miles) and is known for its unique ecosystem and rich biodiversity. The lake is surrounded by hills and supports a diverse range of flora and fauna, including the endangered Sangai deer.


Keibul Lamjao National Park, being a part of Loktak Lake, benefits from the lake's resources and serves as a crucial habitat for various aquatic and terrestrial species. Visitors to the park can explore the floating vegetation mats, observe the wildlife, and experience the scenic beauty of Loktak Lake.


Loktak Lake was designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. The lake is also listed under the Montreux Record in 1993, "a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur". 




Keibul Lamjao National Park Tribe

The area surrounding Keibul Lamjao National Park in Manipur, India, is inhabited by various ethnic communities and tribes. One significant tribe associated with the region is the Meitei community, who are the major ethnic group in Manipur and have a significant presence in the vicinity of the park.


The Meitei community has a rich cultural heritage and plays a vital role in the socio-economic fabric of Manipur. They have their own language, traditions, customs, and festivals. The Meitei people have a close connection with the natural environment and are often engaged in activities like fishing, agriculture, and handicrafts.




Keibul Lamjao National Park Flora

Keibul Lamjao National Park is home to a diverse range of flora, including both terrestrial and aquatic plant species. The park's unique wetland ecosystem, characterized by the floating vegetation mats known as Phumdi, supports a variety of plant life. The park is a combination of wetland, terrestrial and aquatic.


Here are some of the notable flora found in the park:


(1) Phumdi Vegetation:

The Phumdi formations are the defining feature of the park. These floating mats are composed of decomposed vegetation, soil, and organic matter. They support a variety of plant species, including grasses, sedges, reeds, and other wetland plants.


(2) Aquatic Plants: 

The wetland environment of Keibul Lamjao National Park supports a wide array of aquatic plants. These include various species of lotus, water lilies, water hyacinth, water ferns, and submerged plants like Vallisneria and Hydrilla.


(3) Marshland Flora: 

The marshy areas surrounding the phumdis are characterized by vegetation that can withstand fluctuating water levels and waterlogged conditions. Species like bulrushes, cattails, marsh marigold, and various sedges are commonly found in these marshland areas.


(4) Riparian Vegetation:

Along the banks of water bodies within the park, you can find riparian vegetation consisting of trees and shrubs. These include species like willows, reed mace, bamboo, wild roses, and other shrubs that provide habitat and nesting sites for birds and other wildlife.


(5) Terrestrial Forests: 

Along the periphery of the park and beyond the wetland areas, there are patches of terrestrial forests. These forests are characterized by species such as oak, bamboo, pine, and other deciduous and evergreen trees.




What is Phumdi?

Phumdi refers to the unique floating vegetation mats found in Keibul Lamjao National Park within Loktak Lake in Manipur, India. Phumdis are formed by the accumulation of decomposed plant material, soil, and organic matter over time. These floating mats can range in size from small patches to extensive masses that cover several hectares.


Phumdis are composed of a variety of plant species, including grasses, sedges, reeds, and aquatic herbs. The vegetation on the phumdis plays a crucial role in the ecosystem of the lake, providing habitat, food, and shelter for a diverse range of wildlife, including the endangered Sangai deer.


The phumdis are not fixed to the lakebed but float on the water's surface, anchored in place by the complex interplay of their root systems and the lake's hydrological dynamics. They are constantly in motion, influenced by changes in water levels, wind, and other environmental factors.


Phumdis are characterized by having approximately 1/5 of their mass above the water's surface, while the remaining 4/5 lies submerged beneath the water. This unique composition allows the phumdis to float and move with the water's fluctuations.


These floating vegetation mats create a unique habitat that supports a rich biodiversity. They serve as nesting grounds for various bird species, including migratory birds, and provide a safe refuge for many aquatic animals, including fish, amphibians, and invertebrates.


The phumdis of Keibul Lamjao National Park are not only a distinct ecological feature but also an important cultural and economic resource for the surrounding communities. They are utilized for fishing, agriculture, and traditional handicrafts by the local people.


The conservation of the phumdis and their associated biodiversity is a critical aspect of the management of Keibul Lamjao National Park and Loktak Lake, as they are vital for the survival and sustenance of many species and contribute to the overall ecological balance of the area.




Keibul Lamjao National Park Fauna (Keibul Lamjao National Park Animals)

Keibul Lamjao National Park is home to a diverse range of fauna, including both terrestrial and aquatic species. The park's unique wetland ecosystem and the presence of the floating vegetation mats known as phumdis provide habitat for various wildlife. 


Here are some notable fauna found in Keibul Lamjao National Park:


Mammals:

  • Brow-antlered deer (Sangai Deer) (Dancing Deer)
  • Hog Deer 
  • Wild Boar
  • Large Indian Civet 
  • Common Otter 
  • Jungle Cat
  • Asian Golden Cat
  • Bay Bamboo Rat
  • Musk Shrew
  • Common Shrew
  • Flying Fox 
  • Sambar


Birds:

  • East Himalayan Pied Kingfisher
  • Black Kite
  • Lesser Sky-lark
  • Northern Hill Myna
  • Indian Pied Myna
  • North Indian Black Drongos
  • Lesser Eastern Jungle Crow
  • Yellow Headed Wagtail 
  • Spotbill Duck
  • Blue-winged Teal
  • Ruddy Shell Duck
  • Threatened Hooded Crane
  • Burmese Sarus 
  • Sarus Crane
  • Indian White-breasted Waterhen
  • Crimson-breasted Pied Woodpecker


Reptiles:

  • Keel Back Tortoise
  • Krait
  • Cobra
  • Water Cobra
  • Banded Krait
  • Asian Rat Snake (Beauty Rat Snake)
  • Python
  • Russel's Viper
  • Checkered Garter Snake
  • Common Lizard


Fishes: 

  • Channa striata
  • Channa punctatus
  • Common carp
  • Wallago attu
  • Pool barb




Sangai Deer or Brow Antlered Deer or Dancing Deer

The Sangai deer, also known as the Brow-antlered deer or Dancing deer, is a critically endangered species and one of the main highlights of Keibul Lamjao National Park. The Sangai deer is endemic to Manipur, India, and is recognized as the state animal.


The Sangai deer is characterized by its distinctive antlers with multiple tines that resemble the branches of a tree. It has a light brown coat that blends well with its habitat. The deer is known for its graceful movements, often described as "dancing," which gives it the name "Dancing Deer."


The Sangai Deer coat is a dark reddish brown during winter months and it becomes a much lighter shade in summer.


Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world, and it serves as the last natural habitat for the Sangai deer. The park's unique phumdi ecosystem provides a suitable environment for the deer, with a combination of grasslands, marshes, and shallow water areas.


Conservation efforts have been implemented to protect the Sangai deer and its habitat. The Manipur Forest Department and other organizations work together to monitor and preserve this critically endangered species. The presence of the Sangai deer in Keibul Lamjao National Park is not only significant for its conservation but also adds to the park's ecological and cultural importance.


Common Name: Sangai, Brow antlered deer, Dancing Deer

Scientific Name: Rucervus eldii

IUCN Red List: Endangered

CITES: Appendix I

WPA 1972: Schedule-I




Top Things to do in Keibul Lamjao National Park

When visiting Keibul Lamjao National Park, there are several activities and experiences that you can enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in the park:


(1) Wildlife Spotting: 

Explore the park's diverse ecosystem and keep an eye out for the iconic Sangai deer, as well as other wildlife such as water birds, reptiles, and amphibians. Take a guided nature walk or go on a wildlife safari to maximize your chances of spotting these unique creatures.


(2) Bird Watching: 

Keibul Lamjao National Park is a paradise for bird lovers. Grab your binoculars and observe a variety of water birds, migratory species, and resident avifauna that inhabit the wetland and surrounding areas. Look out for species like the Manipur bush quail, waterfowl, herons, egrets, and kingfishers.


(3) Boat Ride: 

Take a boat ride on Loktak Lake and explore the floating vegetation mats, known as phumdis. Experience the tranquil beauty of the lake and witness the interplay between the phumdis, water, and surrounding landscape.


(4) Visit Sendra Island: 

Located within Loktak Lake, Sendra Island offers panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings. Take a trip to this scenic island and enjoy the serene atmosphere, go for a walk, or simply relax and soak in the natural beauty.


(5) Explore Thanga Village: 

Thanga Village is situated near Keibul Lamjao National Park and serves as a base for many visitors. Explore the village and interact with the local community to learn about their way of life, culture, and traditional practices.


(6) Photography: 

Keibul Lamjao National Park and Loktak Lake offer incredible opportunities for photography. Capture the mesmerizing landscapes, wildlife, and unique floating phumdis to create stunning visual memories of your visit.


(7) Learn about the Conservation Efforts: 

Keibul Lamjao National Park is not only a place of natural beauty but also an important conservation site. Take the opportunity to learn about the conservation initiatives aimed at protecting the Sangai deer and the fragile wetland ecosystem.




Keibul Lamjao National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in which state?/In which state Keibul Lamjao National Park is situated?/In which Indian state is the only floating national park of the world Keibul Lamjao situated? /In which state would you find the Keibul Lamjao National Park the only floating park in the world?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in the Manipur state of India.


Q. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located on which lake?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located on Loktak Lake.


Q. Where is Keibul Lamjao National Park?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur, India.


Q. Why does Keibul Lamjao National Park is famous in the world?/Why is Keibul Lamjao National Park famous?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is famous in the world for its the only floating national park in the world and for being the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai.


Q. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located on which river?/Which river is Keibul Lamjao National Park located?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is located on Manipur river.


Q. Which unique feature makes the Keibul Lamjao National Park of  Manipur the only one of this kind?/ What is unique about Keibul Lamjao National Park?

A. The unique feature that sets Keibul Lamjao National Park apart is the presence of the floating vegetation mats known as phumdis. These phumdis are composed of a thick layer of humus, dead plant material, and soil, held together by the complex root systems of various aquatic plants. The phumdis float on the surface of Loktak Lake, creating a dynamic habitat for numerous plant and animal species.


Q. Keibul Lamjao National Park is famous for which animal?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is famous for Sangai Deer (Brow Antlered Deer).


Q. Which is the first floating national park in India?

A. Keibul Lamjao National Park is the first floating national park in India


Q. What are the 5 Flora found in Keibul Lamjao National Park?

A. 5 Flora found in Keibul Lamjao National Park are:

  • Phumdi Vegetation
  • Water Lily
  • Lotus
  • Bulrushes
  • Marsh Marigold

Keibul Lamjao National Park

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