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Brackish and Salt Lakes

The Indus ecoregion is home to a number of brackish and salt lakes such as Drigh Lake, Jhubo and Nurri lagoons and a large number of seasonal or permanent lakes in Deh Akro-II wetlands complex..

Drigh is a small, slightly brackish lake, with extensive marshes, situated in the Indus floodplain. It lies 18 km west of Larkana and hosts over 20,000 waterbirds, mostly ducks, geese and coot. It is also a breeding and wintering area for a wide variety of waterbirds and an important roosting site for night-heron. The Lake was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1972, and in 1976 it was also designated a Ramsar site.

Jubho Lagoon is a good example of a natural wetland, featuring a combination of brackish, coastal and inland lagoons and mudflats. It is a large shallow brackish lagoon with associated mudflats and marshes. The site is inter-connected with Pateji, Cholri and Nurri wetlands. Some salt-tolerant bushes can be found in the high lying areas of the wetland. The locals used this site for fishing and livestock grazing. The wetland is important for wintering waterbirds, particularly Greater and Lesser Flamingo and Dalamatian Pelican. Lesser Flamingo and Dalmatian Pelican are endangered species. Large scale hunting has reduced the number and diversity of migratory birds. As a result of the construction of the tidal link canal, salt water intrusion has taken place that has reduced the growth of freshwater vegetation. Also the agricultural run off has damaged the biodiversity of the area.

Nurri Lagoon is situated in the Golarchi subdivision of Badin District, 190 km southeast of Karachi. This is a natural wetland, featuring a combination of brackish coastal and inland lagoons and barren mudflats on the northern side. The site has consistently recorded a very large concentrations of migratory birds in winter. The different bird species found in the area include storks, snipes, crested terns, ducks and gulls. Nurri Lagoon comprises four inter-connected shallow wetlands with very sparse vegetation. This lagoon is connected with Jubho, Pateji and Cholri wetlands. All these wetlands are inter-connected and ultimately drain into a tidal link. The water is brackish. Salinity and sedimentation are increasing due to the intrusion of the sea in this area and water level is increasing due to the tidal effect. The site is not protected. The wetland is under threat by over population on the dwindling natural resource base. There has been a dramatic increase in fishing and illegal hunting activities over the past two decades. Also, agricultural and industrial pollution have aggravated the situation.

Deh Akro-II wetlands complex is located 330 km northeast of Karachi, in Nawabshah district. It is a natural wetland comprising 36 lakes, mostly brackish. The complex is a blend of f four major habitats types: desert, wetland, marsh and agricultural lands. The complex presents a unique example of desert wetland ecosystem that supports a variety of rare and endangered wildlife species. In total, the wetland supports more than 18 species of mammals, 16 species of reptiles, 14 species of fish, and 101 species of birds. The site regularly supports over 20,000 waterbirds. The wetland supports a small population of marsh crocodiles. The wetland is an important feeding and spawning ground for several indigenous fish species. The desert is characterised by sand dunes with well developed herbs/shrubs and trees. The agricultural land comprises patches of irrigated agricultural fields lying adjacent to the desert. The wetland fauna includes waterbirds, crocodiles, otters and fish. Land uses in the wetland include small-scale irrigated agriculture, subsistence fishing, conservation education and scientific research. In 1998, the wetland was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary.


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