Lake Wular, the largest wetland of Kashmir Valley, is its natural flood buffer, and a rich source of fish and aquatic vegetation, along with being an important habitat for migratory waterbirds in Central Asian Flyway. Over the last century, the wetland has been subject to series of interventions for reclamation of shorelines and marshes for flood control, agriculture and willow plantation. Located at the trough of the valley, the wetland becomes a receptacle of waste generated in upstream towns leading to severe degradation in water quality. More recently, the spread of the invasive alligator weed Alternanthera philoxeroides has been a cause of concern. There has been a significant decline in wetland resources, as well as water regime moderation capability ultimately making the valley region vulnerable to floods and droughts. An integrated management plan for the wetland was formulated in 2007 and has been in implementation since 2011 through Wular Conservation and Management Authority.
KeywordsFlood buffer Willow Kashmir valley Embankments Alligator weed
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