Habitat study in Kuruka- Rangajan beel, Golaghat, Assam, India: Study in Context of Wetland Conservation
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Wetlands are important in supporting species diversity and have a complex of wetland values.Limnological parameters play an important role in maintaining a perfect aquatic ecosystem. The Kuruka-Rangajan beel is one of the significant beels in Assam which harbours a wide variety of fauna especially birds. Due to lack of study in this beel, a preliminary study on its habitat parameters was done to assess the habitat condition and the threats it faces today.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
Earlier a part of Dhansiri River, this wetland is about 7km from Golaghat town and is located in geographical ordinance of 26°30/-26°46/N and 93°54/-93°98/ E. The study was done from January to December, 2012 which involved analyze the water parameters of the beel. The survey and water collection was carried out in all the four seasons viz. winter (January- February), pre- monsoon (March- May), monsoon (June- August), post- monsoon (September- December). A total of 7 water parameters i.e., pH, salinity, turbidity, temperature, TDS, conductivity, DO were evaluated and their season-wise variation was established.
Results: What are your most important results?
The study revealed quite a difference in the range of habitat parameters in different seasons. Temperature was maximum in monsoon and minimum in winter. pH was maximum in winter and minimum in pre-monsoon. TDS, salinity and conductivity were minimum in pre-monsoon and maximum in post-monsoon while turbidity was minimum in post-monsoon and maximum in monsoon. DO was minimum in monsoon but maximum in the winter. The study also revealed destruction of the wetland habitat.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
Study iterates that among all the habitat parameters, pH and temperature play the most important role in this wetland ecosystem. Moreover, degradation of the wetland is a major concern owing to mostly fishery production. Anthropogenic pressures like grazing, overfishing, fragmentation of the wetland by fishermen by accumulating water hyacinths in the beel for business purposes are among major concerns.