Loktak Lake, located in Manipur, is the largest natural freshwater lake in northeastern India. It is covered with phoomdis, which is a mass of floating vegetation. The lake was designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention in 1990. The lake is the lifeline of the people of southern Manipur. People depend on it for their livelihood, food and transport.
It is home to several types of riverine migratory fishes from the Irrawady – Chindwin river network, and also has resident and migratory waterfowl, some coming from as far as the Himalayas. The Keibul Lamjao National Park is a floating wildlife reserve and the lone place where you’ll find the Saigai deer. Also called Manipur brow-antlered deer, it has an estimated population of 106 (in 1991). The lake and the nearby areas house about 425 species of animals. There are 116 species of birds, too.
The lake suffers from a lot of environmental, climatic and wildlife threats. People have been uprooted, animals and birds displaced and the lake and the land itself have undergone tremendous irreversible changes. Though there have been many governmental and private efforts to bring the lake back to life, a lot needs to be done still.