Kolleru Lake India

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Kolleru Lake Andhra Pradesh

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Location: in Krishna and West Godavari districts, 50 km east of Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh
Area: 90,000 ha at maximum flooding
Altitude: 0-5 m

Description of site: A large, natural, shallow, freshwater lake with associated marshes, situated between the Krishna and Godavari rivers, about 55 km east of Vijayawada and some 25 km northwest of the coastline.. Geologically, the lake is of recent origin, having been formed by siltation from the Krishna and Godavari rivers.

Fauna: The lake supports a rich fish fauna including an endemic sub-species. Sixty-three species of fishes belonging to 29 families have been recorded in commercial catches from Kolleru Lake and the Upputeru River. These include Notopterus notopterus, Chanos chanos, 18 species of Cyprinidae, Wallago attu, Ompok pabda, O. bimaculatus, Mystus spp., Clarias batrachus, Heteropneustes fossilis, Xenentodon cancila, Chanda spp., Nandus nandus, Mugil cephalus, Glossogobius giuris, Anabas testudineus, A. oligolepis, Colisa fasciata, Channa spp., and Mastacembelus armatus .

The lake remains a very important wetland for both resident and migratory waterfowl, although its importance has declined in recent years. Pelecanus philippensis formerly bred in large numbers but no longer does so. In the early 1960s, the lake hosted the largest pelican colony in the subcontinent; 1500 nests were counted in 1960, but by 1968, only 400 pairs were present, and by 1974, the colony site had been abandoned. Many pelicans, along with numerous other waterbirds, succumbed to pesticide poisoning in the Kolleru area, particularly in the mid-1960s. Species still reported to occur in significant numbers include various herons and egrets, Anastomus oscitans, and Phoenicopterus ruber. Kolleru Lake was formerly a wintering area for huge numbers of ducks. The flocks of ducks have been described as suggesting "smoke from a score of express trains running berserk". Large numbers of birds still occur in winter; in a partial census of the lake in January 1988, over 17,000 waterfowl were recorded, including 110 herons and egrets of five species, at least 1000 open-bill storks (Anastomus oscitans), and: 30 Dendrocygna javanica 10,000 Anas querquedula 5000 A. Clypeata 20 Netta rufina 300 Fulica atra over 300 shorebirds Only some 30% of the lake was covered, and evidently many more birds were present in the area at this time

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