Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam: Paper - IV (General Studies – III) - 17 December 2019

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS Mains Exam

Answer Writing Practice for UPSC IAS & UPPSC Mains Exam

UPSC Syllabus:

  • Paper-IV: General Studies -III (Technology, Economic Development, Bio-diversity, Environment, Security and Disaster Management)

Q. Nearly 18,000 migratory birds died in the Sambhar Lake recently. What are the reasons for the death of the birds in the Sambhar Lake? (150 words)

Model Answer:

  • Why in News?
  • Introduction
  • Reasons for the death of the birds in the Sambhar Lake
  • Conclusion

Why in News?

Over 18,000 migratory birds have been found dead in Sambhar Lake, India's largest inland saltwater lake.


Every year the Sambhar Lake attracts thousands of migratory birds. This year about 20-35 species of migratory birds like Northern Shoveller, Brahminy Duck, Pied Avocet, Kentish Plover, and Tufted Duck have been found dead in the Sambhar Lake. Though the evidence point towards Avian Botulism it has not yet been confirmed officially.

Reasons for the death of the birds in the Sambhar Lake:

A report by the Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (RAJUVAS), reported that:

  • The clinical signs exhibited by affected birds included dullness, depression, anorexia, flaccid paralysis in legs and wings, and neck touching the ground.
  • The birds were unable to walk, swim, or take flight.
  • There was no rise in body temperature, no nasal discharge, no respiratory distress or any other sign.

The evidence point towards Avian Botulism. The Rajasthan Government is waiting for reports from various sources to establish the exact cause like the National Institute of High-Security Animal Diseases (NIHSAD) in Bhopal has ruled out Avian Botulism. The government has engaged 8 institutions and agencies to determine the reason behind the death of the birds.

Apart from Avian Botulism, the Rajasthan Government has laid out various other reasons like:

  • Viral infection among the birds.
  • Toxicity, as there could be a higher concentration of salts along the area.
  • Bacteriological infection.
  • Higher temperatures and high water levels due to a good monsoon.
  • Increase in competition among birds for resources. The weaker individuals, exhausted from the long journey, perhaps were unable to compete and may have succumbed to stress emanating from the shortage of food, susceptibility to disease/pollutants/toxins and other habitat-related factors in the wintering grounds.


Sambhar Lake is recognized as a wetland of international importance when it was accorded the title of UNESCO Ramsar Site in 1990. Today, Wetlands International a NGO stated that the Wetland’s Health Score is at E. The National Green Tribunal noted that the main cause behind the poor health of the wetland is the allotment of unauthorized salt pans in the area. Immediate and stringent measures are needed to be taken to avoid such a massacre in the future. 

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