May 31, 2020, 11:15 AM
Journalist ID: 3080
News Code: 83805669
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Flamingos back to Urmia Lake

Tehran, May 31, IRNA - Director of Ajabshir Department of Environment Hamid Peighami said on Sunday that flamingos have returned to the shores of Ghobadloo five years after the revitalization of Urmia Lake.

In an interview with IRNA, Peighami said that the approximate population of flamingos in Urmia Lake and Ghobadloo beach is around 20.000. Flamingos of the lake is a large species called Phoenicopterus roseus (P. roseus ) that migrates to the African habitat in winter after laying eggs and hatching in Urmia lake, he further noted.

He pointed out that some of these flamingos also live in other habitats in the country including Khuzestan and shallow coastal swamps that Artemia is their food.

He added that the level of the lake is now 1.272m and the volume of the water in Urmia Lake is now 5.3 billion cubic meters.

Lake Urmia, located between East and West Azarbaijan provinces, was once the largest salt-water lake in the Middle East. It is habitat to many migratory and indigenous animals, including flamingos, pelicans, egrets and ducks attracting hundreds of tourists every year who had bathed in the water to take advantage of the therapeutic properties of the lake.

Urmia Lake began shrinking in the mid-2000s due to decades of long-standing drought spells and elevated hot summer temperatures. According to international statistics, the lake lost about 80% of its waterbed by 2015.

In a coordinated effort to save the lake in 2013, Iran started a joint project with the UN Development Program (UNDP) funded jointly by the Iranian and the Japanese governments. The revival efforts therefore focused on redirecting rivers to irrigate farmland, thus avoiding use of water from the lake, and the promotion of more sustainable farming methods.

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