Sholapur Reservoirs Pune

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Sholapur Maharashtra Tour

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Location: on the upper tributaries of the Krishna and Bhima rivers, between Pune and Sholapur, Maharashtra
Area: Many small reservoirs, each 50-5000 ha in extent
Altitude: 600 m in the west, 440 m in the southeast

Description of site: A number of small water-storage reservoirs constructed on the headwaters of the Krishna and Bhima rivers in Maharashtra. Compared with the ancient percolation tanks of the Deccan plateau, these reservoirs are generally of relatively recent origin, and some are a little more than 100 years old. About 20 tanks exceed 100 ha in area. They fill during the monsoon but become progressively drier and more brackish as the dry season advances. Most flood to a maximum depth of 3-6m in September and October; some dry out completely by January or February while others retain up to lm of water until April or May. Canal systems and overflow channels have created seepage lagoons, and areas of marshland exist where waterlogging occurs. Some of the more important reservoirs are:

I. Hipparga Tank, near Sholapur: a small tank which floods to a maximum depth of 4 m in September and October, and has a pH value of 8.0

2. Mayan Tank, near Satara: a small tank which floods to a maximum depth of 3 m in September and October, and dries out completely by January or February

3. Varvand Tank 60 km east of Pune: a large tank with a maximum depth of 3 m and pH value of 7.0; extensive grassy flats are exposed at low water levels

4. Shirsuphal (Victoria) Tanks, 70 km east of Pune: two large tanks with rocky shorelines and an adjacent small Typha marsh fed by seepage from the tanks

5. Patas Tank, 40 km east of Pune: a small tank of about 50 ha with abundant submerged vegetation and surrounded by grassy flats and mudflats

6. Matoba Tank, northwest of Pandharpur: a large tank which floods to a maximum in July and is usually dry by May.

Climatic conditions: Semi-arid, tropical monsoon climate, with an annual rainfall of 300-400 mm, most of which falls in August and September. The maximum temperature in summer is 41'C, and the minimum in winter 10°C

Principal vegetation: The lakes support a rich growth of Vallisneria sp., Hydrilla sp., Potamogeton sp., and a variety of algae. Emergent and peripheral vegetation includes Scirpus sp., Typha sp., and Cyperus sp. The adjacent landscape is dominated by xerophytic vegetation, with species of Zizyphus, Capparis, Prosopis, Acacia, and Cassia auriculata. Many crops including cotton, are grown in the valleys

Fauna: The region, as a whole, is of considerable importance to migratory waterfowl, particularly in winter. The reservoirs support large populations of cormorants, herons, egrets, storks, ibises, flamingos, ducks, cranes, and rails. Significant numbers of Anser indices winter at Hipparga Tank in some years, and there are particularly large roosting concentrations of Anthropoides virgo at several tanks (e.g. 10,000 at Shirsuphal Lake in January 1986). Phoenicopterus ruber also sometimes occurs in very large numbers. Mayani Tank is important for wintering ducks of the genus Aythya. A wide variety of shorebirds are observed on passage and in winter, especially Himantopus himantopus, Charadrius dubius, C. alexandrines, Limosa limosa, species of Tringa, Actitis hypoleucos, Gallinago gallinago, Calidris minuta, and C. temminckii. Sterna aurantia breeds at several of the lakes .


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