Wular India’s largest fresh water lake is not just pride of Kashmir but entire India and it is located in North Kashmir’s Bandipore district in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is also one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia and one of the most awesome lake of world . As a matter of fact, The lake basin was formed as a result of tectonic activity and is fed by the Jhelum River. The lake’s size varies from 12 to 100 square miles (30 to 260 square kilometers), depending on the season.
Wular Lake is an important fish habitat, the main species being the Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), rosy barb (Barbus conchonius), mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis), Nemacheilus species, Crossocheilus latius, and various snowtrout [disambiguation needed] species in the genera Schizopyge and Schizothorax.
It is worth pointing out that Fish from Wular Lake make up a vital part of the diet for innumerable living on its shores and elsewhere in the Kashmir valley. It is also source of livelihood for thousands of families .
In recognition of its biological, hydrological and socio-economic values, the lake was included in 1986 as a Wetland of National Importance under the Wetlands Programme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India for intensive conservation and management purposes.
However it continuously faces environmental threats including the conversion of large parts of the lake’s catchment areas into agriculture land, pollution from fertilizers and animal wastes, hunting of waterfowl and migratory birds and weed infestation in the lake itself.
But the lake is facing dire threats from human greed and indifferent attitude of authorties. The pollution from fertilizers and animals as well as human wastes, the conversion of vast catchment into agriculture land and the hunting pressure on waterfowl and migratory birds are the biggest problems in the region.
According to experts, the current unattended bleak situation of Wular Lake can have catastrophic impacts on the overall natural beauty paradigm of Kashmir as the lake forms an important part of diverse beauty of Kashmir. Experienced voices state that if current situation continues Wular lake would face great damage and thus all urge upon masses and authorities to save this precious jewel of Kashmir from further havoc.