Kolleru Lake, situated in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country. Spread across an area of 308 sq km, it serves as an important habitat for a wide variety of plants and animals, including migratory birds. The lake has been recognized as a Wetland of National Importance and is protected under the Ramsar Convention.
In this article, we will explore the map and location of Kolleru Lake, along with its notable features, ensuring that you are well-equipped for the UPSC examination.
|Location||Andhra Pradesh, India|
|Districts||Krishna, West Godavari|
|Area||308 sq km|
|Biodiversity||Supports 150+ bird species|
|Threats||Encroachment, pollution, unsustainable fishing|
Geographical Features of Kolleru Lake
The following are some geographical features of Kolleru Lake:
- Kolleru Lake is located in the Krishna-Godavari delta region of Andhra Pradesh, India.
- The lake covers an area of 308 square kilometers, making it one of the largest freshwater lakes in the country.
- It is situated at an altitude of 3 meters above sea level.
- The lake is fed by several small streams and channels that originate from the surrounding hills, including the Budameru, Ramileru, and Tammileru.
- It is connected to the Bay of Bengal through a channel called the Upputeru.
- The lake is situated between the two major rivers of the region, the Krishna and Godavari.
- The lake is surrounded by a marshy area that is rich in aquatic plants and wildlife.
- The lake has several islands within its boundaries, including Diviseema Island, which is the largest island in the lake.
- The lake is characterized by two distinct ecosystems, the open-water ecosystem, and the wetland ecosystem.
- The surrounding area is predominantly agricultural, with rice cultivation being the main crop grown in the region.
Map of Kolleru Lake
Location of Kolleru Lake
Kolleru Lake is situated in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is located between the Krishna and Godavari river basins and spans across the districts of Krishna and West Godavari.
Importance of Kolleru Lake as a Wetland
Kolleru Lake is an important wetland ecosystem with significant ecological and environmental value. Here are some points on the importance of Kolleru Lake as a wetland:
- Biodiversity hotspot: Kolleru Lake is home to a wide range of plant and animal species, including several rare and endangered species. The lake supports a diverse range of aquatic plants and animals, including several species of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
- Habitat for migratory birds: The lake is an important wintering ground for several migratory birds, including the Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Open-billed Stork, and Grey Heron. The lake is also home to several resident bird species, such as the Indian Cormorant and Little Egret.
- Carbon storage: Wetlands like Kolleru Lake play an important role in carbon storage and sequestration. The organic matter that accumulates in the lake’s sediment serves as a sink for carbon, which helps to mitigate the effects of climate change.
- Flood control: Wetlands act as natural sponges, absorbing excess water during heavy rains and releasing it slowly during dry periods. Kolleru Lake helps to regulate the flow of water in the surrounding region, thereby reducing the risk of flooding.
- Water purification: Wetlands are natural water purifiers, removing pollutants and contaminants from the water through biological and physical processes. Kolleru Lake helps to maintain water quality in the surrounding region, serving as a natural filtration system.
- Sustainable livelihoods: Wetlands like Kolleru Lake provide a source of livelihood for local communities, who depend on fishing, agriculture, and tourism for their income. The lake supports a thriving aquaculture industry, which contributes significantly to the local economy.
Biodiversity & Ecosystems of Kolleru Lake
Kolleru Lake is home to a diverse range of plant and animal species and supports two distinct ecosystems: the open water ecosystem and the wetland ecosystem. Here are some points on the biodiversity and ecosystems of Kolleru Lake:
- Aquatic plants: Kolleru Lake supports a wide range of aquatic plant species, including water hyacinth, lotus, water lily, and several species of submerged plants.
- Fish: The lake is home to several species of fish, including the Rohu, Catla, and Mrigal, which are important for the local aquaculture industry.
- Amphibians and reptiles: Kolleru Lake is home to several species of amphibians and reptiles, including the Indian bullfrog, Indian python, and several species of turtles.
- Birds: The lake is an important habitat for several species of birds, including migratory birds that visit the lake during the winter months. Some of the bird species that can be seen at the lake include the Spot-billed Pelican, Painted Stork, Open-billed Stork, and Grey Heron.
- Mammals: The surrounding wetland ecosystem of Kolleru Lake is home to several species of mammals, including the Fishing Cat, Indian Otter, and several species of bats.
- Wetland ecosystem: The wetland ecosystem of Kolleru Lake is characterized by a mix of shallow water, marshy areas, and mud flats. It supports a diverse range of plant and animal species and plays an important role in regulating the hydrological cycle of the region.
- Open water ecosystem: The open water ecosystem of Kolleru Lake is characterized by deep water, and supports a diverse range of fish and bird species. The lake also plays an important role in maintaining water quality in the surrounding region.
Threats & Conservation Efforts
Over the years, Kolleru Lake has faced several threats, primarily due to human activities. The lake has been subjected to excessive fishing, pollution, and encroachment of its wetlands. These activities have had a significant impact on the lake’s ecosystem, and have led to a decline in its biodiversity.
To address these threats, several conservation measures have been undertaken. The Andhra Pradesh government has implemented a number of policies and programs aimed at protecting the lake, including the Kolleru Lake Development Authority (KLDA), which is responsible for the management and conservation of the lake.
Economic Significance of Kolleru Lake
- Kolleru Lake supports a thriving aquaculture industry, with the production of fish and prawns being a major source of income for the local communities.
- The lake is an important source of livelihood for fishermen, who depend on the lake for their daily catch.
- The aquaculture industry at Kolleru Lake contributes significantly to the local economy, with an estimated annual turnover of around Rs 500 crore.
- The lake also supports the production of lotus seeds and stems, which are sold in local markets and exported to other parts of the country.
- Kolleru Lake is a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors from across the country. The tourism industry at the lake generates revenue for local businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and tour operators.
- The lake also plays an important role in regulating the hydrological cycle of the region and helps in recharging the groundwater table, which is crucial for agriculture and other economic activities in the region.
Also Read: Pulicat Lake
Kolleru Lake is a unique wetland ecosystem that provides a habitat for a diverse range of plants and animals. The lake is an important source of livelihood for the local communities and supports a thriving aquaculture industry.
However, the lake is also facing several threats, primarily due to human activities. To ensure the long-term sustainability of the lake, it is important to adopt a holistic approach to its conservation and management, one that takes into account the needs of both people and the environment.
Where is Kolleru Lake located?
Kolleru Lake is situated in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is a Ramsar Site, covering an area of around 245 square kilometers.
How large is Kolleru Lake?
Kolleru Lake has an extensive area, spanning approximately 245 square kilometers. Its significant size makes it a notable feature of the landscape in Andhra Pradesh, contributing to its ecological importance and providing a habitat for diverse flora and fauna.