Ahansar Kashmir India

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Ahansar Lake Kashmir

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Location: 26 km north of Srinagar, Baramulla district, Jammu & Kashmir
Area: Ahansar 17 ha; Waskursar 38 ha
Altitude: 1583 m
Biogeographical province: 2.39.12
Wetland type: 13

Description of site: The wetlands lie within the floodplain of the Jhelum river about a kilometre away from each other. Wakursar is comparatively larger and deeper than Ahansar. The maximum depth of Ahansar Lake is 5 m and that of Waskursar is 6 m. Both the lakes are semi drainage lakes with perennial outflow channels. Catchment area of the lakes comprise elevated stretches of fan-shaped projections known as karewa which are mostly horizontal beds of fine-grained sand, loam, and sandy clay with lenticular bands of gravelly conglomerates. Waters of both the lakes are moderately clear. The water temperature varies according to the climatic conditions. In summer, the lakes develop weak stratification. The lake waters are alkaline and have a high calcium content. This may be due to the lime-rich catchment which brings a high calcium load along with storm waters

Climatic conditions: Average annual precipitation varies from 620 mm to 764 mm. Maximum temperature is 25° C and minimum about 1.8° C

Principal vegetation: Both the lakes are overgrown with different species of macrophytes. Along the silted regions, where water depth is shallow, only a few emergent species such as Phragmites communis and Juncus effusus arefound growing. The important floating-rooted species in the lakes are Nymphoides peltata, Nelumbo nucifera, Potamogeton natans, Nymphaea albs, and Trapa natans. The deepest parts are colonised by Ceratophyllum Myriophyllum community. Other important species are Potamogeton lucens, P. Crispus, P. Pucillus, Hydrilla verticillata, Najas graminea, and minor. In both the lakes, the submerged species of vegetation cover more area than the floating-rooted type. About 120 species of phytoplankton have been recorded, representing the following families: Chlorophyceae, Bacilariophyceae, Cyanophyceae, Dinophyceae, and Chrysophyceae

Land tenure: Surrounding fields and orchards are under private ownership. The wetlands are state-owned

Land use: Fishing, especially for mirror carp. Agricultural activities are carried out on the lake shores

Disturbances and threats: Both the lakes are under severe stress due to biotic pressure, resulting in gradual eutrophication

Economic and social values: The lakes support locally important fishing

Fauna: Known to be an important site for waterfowl although no census seems to have been undertaken

Special floral values: None

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