Sundarbans National Park
The Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, a Biosphere Reserve in West Bengal, India. It is part of the Sundarbans on the Ganges Delta, adjacent to the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh; the delta is densely covered by mangrove forests, is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. It is home to a variety of bird and invertebrate species, including the salt-water crocodile; the present Sundarban National Park was declared as the core area of Sundarban Tiger Reserve in 1973 and a wildlife sanctuary in 1977. On 4 May 1984 it was declared a National Park, it is a UNESCO world heritage site inscribed in 1987, it has been designated as a Ramsar site since 2019. It is considered as a World Network of Biosphere Reserve from 2001; the first Forest Management Division to have jurisdiction over the Sundarbans was established in 1869. In 1875 a large portion of the mangrove forests was declared as reserved forests under the Forest Act, 1865; the remaining portions of the forests were declared a reserve forest the following year and the forest, so far administered by the civil administration district, was placed under the control of the Forest Department.
A Forest Division, the basic forest management and administration unit, was created in 1879 with the headquarters in Khulna, Bangladesh. The first management plan was written for the period 1893–98. In 1911, it was excluded from the census, it stretched for about 266 kilometres from the mouth of the Hugli to the mouth of the Meghna river and was bordered inland by the three settled districts of the 24 parganas and Bakerganj. The total area was estimated at 16,900 square kilometres, it was a water-logged jungle, in which other wild beasts abounded. Attempts at reclamation had not been successful; the Sundarbans was everywhere intersected by river channels and creeks, some of which afforded water communication throughout the Bengal region both for steamers and for native ships. The maximum part of the delta is located in Bangladesh The Directorate of Forest is responsible for the administration and management of Sundarban; the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wildlife & Bio-Diversity & ex-officio Chief Wildlife Warden, West Bengal, is the senior most executive officer looking over the administration of the park.
The Chief Conservator of Forests & Director, Sundarban Biosphere Reserve is the administrative head of the park at the local level and is assisted by a deputy field director and an assistant field director. The park area is divided into two ranges, overseen by range forest officers; each range is further sub-divided into beats. The park has floating watch stations and camps to protect the property from poachers; the park receives financial aid from the state government as well as the Ministry of Environment and Forests under various plan and non-plan budgets. Additional funding is received under the Project Tiger from the Central Government. In 2001, a grant of US $20,000 was received as a preparatory assistance for promotion between India and Bangladesh from the World Heritage Fund. Sundarban National Park is located in between 21° 432′ – 21° 55′ N latitude and between 88° 42′ – 89° 04′ E longitude; the average altitude of the park is 7.5 m above sea level. 54 small islands compose several distributaries of the Ganges River intersect it.
The average minimum and maximum temperature is 48 °C respectively. Rainfall is heavy with humidity as high as 80 %; the monsoon lasts from mid-June to mid-September. Prevailing wind is from the north and north-east from October to mid-March and south west westerlies prevails from mid-March to September. Storms which sometimes develop into cyclones are common during the months of October. Seven main rivers and innumerable watercourses form a network of channels at this estuarine delta. All the rivers have a southward course towards the sea; the eco-geography of this area is dependent on the tidal effect of two flow tides and two ebb tides occurring within 24 hours with a tidal range of 3–5 m and up to 8 m in normal spring tide, inundating the whole of Sunderban in varying depths. The tidal action deposits silts back on the channels and raising the bed, it forms new islands and creeks contributing to uncertain geomorphology. There is a great natural depression called "Swatch of No Ground" in the Bay of Bengal between 21°00' to 21°22' latitude where, the depth of water changes from 20 m to 500 m.
This mysterious depression pushes back the silts towards south and/or further east to form new islands. The Sunderban mudflats are found at the estuary and on the deltaic islands where low velocity of river and tidal current occurs; the flats are exposed in low tides and submerged in high tides, thus being changed morphologically in one tidal cycle. The interior parts of the mudflats are the right environment for mangroves. There are a number of mudflats outside the Sundarbans National Park is a mudflat that have the potential to be tourist spots in the Sundarbans. One can enjoy the beauty of the place during low tide. If one is lucky, one can see Horseshoe crab and small octopus; the coastal active delta of Sunderban at the mouth of Bay of Bengal in Bangladesh, having a complex geomorphologic and hydrological character with climatic hazards, has a vast area of mangrove forests with a variety of flora and diverse fauna in a unique ecosystem. The natural environment and coastal ecosystem of this Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site is under threat of physical disaster due to unscientific and excessive h
Shrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterised by vegetation dominated by shrubs also including grasses and geophytes. Shrubland may either occur or be the result of human activity, it may be the mature vegetation type in a particular region and remain stable over time, or a transitional community that occurs temporarily as the result of a disturbance, such as fire. A stable state may be maintained by regular natural disturbance such as browsing. Shrubland may be unsuitable for human habitation because of the danger of fire; the term "shrubland" was coined in 1903. Shrubland species show a wide range of adaptations to fire, such as heavy seed production and fire-induced germination. In botany and ecology a shrub is defined as a much-branched woody plant less than 8 m high and with many stems. Tall shrubs are 2–8 m high, small shrubs 1–2 m high and subshrubs less than 1 m high. A descriptive system adopted in Australia to describe different types of vegetation is based on structural characteristics based on plant life-form, plus the height and foliage cover of the tallest stratum or dominant species.
For shrubs 2–8 m high the following structural forms result: dense foliage cover — closed-scrub mid-dense foliage cover — open- sparse foliage cover — tall open shrublandFor shrubs <2 m high the following structural forms result: dense foliage cover — closed-heath mid-dense foliage cover — open-heath sparse foliage cover — low shrubland sparse foliage cover — low open shrubland Similarly, shrubland is a category used to describe a type of biome plant group. In this context, shrublands are dense thickets of evergreen sclerophyll shrubs and small trees, called: Chaparral in California Matorral in Chile and Spain Maquis in France and elsewhere around the Mediterranean Macchia in Italy Fynbos in South Africa Kwongan in Southwest Australia Cedar scrub in Texas Hill CountryIn some places shrubland is the mature vegetation type, in other places the result of degradation of former forest or woodland by logging or overgrazing, or disturbance by major fires. A number of World Wildlife Fund biomes are characterized as shrublands, including: Desert scrublands Xeric or desert scrublands occur in the world's deserts and xeric shrublands ecoregions, or in areas of fast-draining sandy soils in more humid regions.
These scrublands are characterized by plants with adaptations to the dry climate, which include small leaves to limit water loss, thorns to protect them from grazing animals, succulent leaves or stems, storage organs to store water, long taproots to reach groundwater. Mediterranean scrublandsMediterranean scrublands occur in the Mediterranean forests and scrub biomes, located in the five Mediterranean climate regions of the world. Scrublands are most common near the seacoast, have adapted to the wind and salt air of the ocean. Low, soft-leaved scrublands around the Mediterranean Basin are known as garrigue in France, phrygana in Greece, tomillares in Spain, batha in Israel. Northern coastal scrub and coastal sage scrub occur along the California coast, strandveld in the Western Cape of South Africa, coastal matorral in central Chile, sand-heath and kwongan in Southwest Australia. Interior scrublandsInterior scrublands occur in semi-arid areas where soils are nutrient-poor, such as on the matas of Portugal which are underlain by Cambrian and Silurian schists.
Florida scrub is another example of interior scrublands. Dwarf shrubs Some vegetation types are formed of dwarf-shrubs: creeping shrubs; these include the maquis and garrigues of Mediterranean climates, the acid-loving dwarf shrubs of heathland and moorland. Fynbos Maquis Prostrate shrub Semi-desert Shrub-steppe Shrub swamp Moorland
Muthupet is a panchayat town in Thiruvarur district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Muthupet is known as Pearlpet. Muthupet comes under the Thiruthuraipoondi assembly constituency which elects a member to the Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly once every five years Current MLA is Adalarasan From Dmk and it is a part of the Nagapattinam which elects its Member of Parliament once in five years; the town is administered by the Muthupet town panchayat Muthupet had a population of 21,722. Males constitute 47% of the population and females 53%. Muthupet has an average literacy rate of 71%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 78%, female literacy is 65%. Islam is the major religion with an estimated 76.4% of the population being Muslims within the town. Tamil is predominantly spoken; the most used dialects is the Central Tamil dialect. Muthupet is a town in Tiruvarur District, it is located between Thirutturaipoondi and Pattukkotai, around 360 km away from Chennai. The town is in the southernmost part of the Cauvery delta.
Muthupet is bounded by Bamaniyar rivers to the east and west respectively. The rivers Koriayar and Pamaniyar join near Muthupet, there is a lagoon, rich in fish. Muthupet is an ideal place for pearl hunting and bird hunting, it is well known for its fishing industries such as finfish and crab. A natural mangrove forest, Alayathi Kadu, is one of the largest of its kind in India. Muthupet is affected by cyclone Gaja on Early hours on 16 November 2018. Wind speed gusting up to 140-160 kmph in Muthupet devastating Hundreds of huts and thousands of trees in Muthupet itself, Many houses with sheet in terrace are fell down during the cyclone. More than 500 electric poles and 20+ a Transformers are fell down, Muthupet Got power supply only after 20 days since cyclone Gaya make landfall. Muthupet culture is influenced by Islamic thoughts. Life in Muthupet revolves around the prayer calls; the people women depend on Adhan to keep their regular activities in track. The Adhan for early morning prayer well before sunrise acts.
It is followed by four prayer calls at various intervals on a day. Sunday is observed as commercial holiday in Muthupet like many countries. White or colored Lungi is used as Male clothing instead of wearing pants. However, School/College Students wear Pants. Muslim ladies observe significant number of women do wear niqab. Like any other Marakkar society, It is a close knit society where people in general do not want to have marital relationships outside the town. Muthupet has two fish market one is Periya kadai theru fish market and azath nagar fish market.periya kadai their fish market is famous for Koduva meen, kalakan meen and viral meen. Muthupet's Azath Nagar fish is the biggest fish market in Thiruvarur district. Variety of fish, Crab are available daily from 6.00 a.m to 6.00 p.m, Muthupet fish market is famous for Koduva and viral in fish type and karuvan Raal in prawn type, From Muthupet they do fish exports to various district and state in India. Muthupet mangrove forest is located at the southern end of the Cauvery delta, covering an area of 13,500 ha of which only 4% is occupied by well-grown mangroves.
The rivers Paminiyar, Kilaithankiyar and other tributaries of the river Cauvery flow through Muthupet and adjacent villages. At the tail end, they form a lagoon before meeting the sea; the northern and western borders of the lagoon are occupied by muddy silt ground, devoid of mangroves. The mangroves beyond Muthupet Lagoon are discontinuously found along the shore and extended up to Point Calimere. Muthupet mangrove forest was under the control of Chatram Department from 1853 to 1912; the government of the presidency of Madras Gazette shows, from 1923 to 1936, half of the revenue obtained from selling mangrove products was paid to the revenue department and the remaining half was spent to maintain the "Chatrams". The government declared the Muthupet mangrove forest as revenue forest in February 1937 and, the mangrove forest was handed over to the forest department of the Madras presidency; the forest is maintained by the Tamil Nadu Forest Department. The mangrove forest is divided into the Palanjur, Maravakkadu, Vadakadu and Muthupet reserve forests.
Muthupet reserve forest covers river creeks and the mudflats. Muthupet Lagoon is a spectacular natural creation, 8 km from nearby Muthupet town and can be reached only by boat; the lagoon is shallow with an average depth of 1 m. The bottom of the lagoon is formed of silt clay substratum; the tidal fluctuations can be observed well with the exposure of oyster beds and roots during low tide. The tidal fluctuations play a major role in dispersing mangrove seeds. Dense mangroves cover the lagoon shore; the islets are found on western side. The salinity is controlling zonation of Muthupet mangrove forest. Avicennia marina is the conqueror of the forest, found as a single dominant species; the southern mudflat separates the lagoon from the adjacent sea that leaves a permanent mouth of lagoon with seasonally opened shallow waterways. The width of mudflat is increased from lagoon mouth to the eastern direction; the mudflat looks like a desert in summer, but the presence of dead gastropods under the surface soil layer and the erosion of soil at the centre of mudflat reveal the submergence of mudflat during flood.
There is a differen
In geology, depositional environment or sedimentary environment describes the combination of physical and biological processes associated with the deposition of a particular type of sediment and, the rock types that will be formed after lithification, if the sediment is preserved in the rock record. In most cases the environments associated with particular rock types or associations of rock types can be matched to existing analogues. However, the further back in geological time sediments were deposited, the more that direct modern analogues are not available. Continental Alluvial Aeolian – Processes due to wind activity Fluvial LacustrineTransitional Deltaic – Silt deposition landform at the mouth of a river Tidal Lagoonal – A shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs Beach – Area of loose particles at the edge of the sea or other body of water Lake – A body of still water, in a basin surrounded by landMarine Shallow water marine environment Upper shoreface – The portion of the seafloor, shallow enough to be agitated by everyday wave action Lower shoreface – The portion of the seafloor, the sedimentary depositional environment, that lies below the everyday wave base Deep water marine environment – Flat area on the deep ocean floor Reef – A bar of rock, coral or similar material, lying beneath the surface of waterOthers Evaporite – A water-soluble mineral sediment formed by evaporation from an aqueous solution Glacial Volcanic Tsunami – Sedimentary unit deposited by a tsunami Depositional environments in ancient sediments are recognised using a combination of sedimentary facies, facies associations, sedimentary structures and fossils trace fossil assemblages, as they indicate the environment in which they lived.
Harold G. Reading. 1996. Sedimentary Environments: Processes and Stratigraphy. Blackwell Publishing Limited. Sedimentary Environments Classification Charts Depositional environments on e-notes
Biodiversity action plan
A biodiversity action plan is an internationally recognized program addressing threatened species and habitats and is designed to protect and restore biological systems. The original impetus for these plans derives from the 1992 Convention on Biological Diversity; as of 2009, 191 countries have ratified the CBD, but only a fraction of these have developed substantive BAP documents. The principal elements of a BAP include: preparing inventories of biological information for selected species or habitats. A fundamental method of engagement to a BAP is thorough documentation regarding individual species, with emphasis upon the population distribution and conservation status; this task, while fundamental, is daunting, since only an estimated ten percent of the world’s species are believed to have been characterized as of 2006, most of these unknowns being fungi, invertebrate animals, micro-organisms and plants. For many bird and reptile species, information is available in published literature, it is useful to compile time trends of population estimates in order to understand the dynamics of population variability and vulnerability.
In some parts of the world complete species inventories are not realistic. A species plan component of a country’s BAP should ideally entail a thorough description of the range, behaviour and interaction with other species. Once a determination has been made of conservation status, a plan can be created to conserve and restore the species population to target levels. Examples of programmatic protection elements are: habitat restoration; the plan should articulate which public and private agencies should implement the protection strategy and indicate budgets available to execute this strategy. Where a number of threatened species depend upon a specific habitat, it may be appropriate to prepare a habitat protection element of the Biodiversity Action Plan. Examples of such special habitats are: raised acidic bogs of Scotland. In this case careful inventories of species and the geographic extent and quality of the habitat must be documented; as with species plans, a program can be created to protect, enhance and/or restore habitat using similar strategies as discussed above under the species plans.
Some examples of individual countries which have produced substantive Biodiversity Action Plans follow. In every example the plans concentrate on plants and vertebrate animals, with little attention to neglected groups such as fungi, invertebrate animals and micro-organisms though these are part of biodiversity. Preparation of a country BAP may cost up to 100 million pounds sterling, with annual maintenance costs ten percent of the initial cost. If plans took into account neglected groups, the cost would be higher. Costs for countries with small geographical area or simplified ecosystems have a much lesser cost. For example, the St. Lucia BAP has been costed in the area of several million pounds sterling. Australia has developed rigorous Biodiversity Action Plan; this document estimates that the total number of indigenous species may be 560,000, many of which are endemic. A key element of the BAP is protection of the Great Barrier Reef, in a much higher state of health than most of the world’s reefs, Australia having one of the highest percentages of treated wastewater.
There is, however,serious ongoing concerns in regards to the ongoing negative impact on water quality from land use practices. Climate change impact is feared to be significant. Considerable analysis has been conducted on the sustainable yield of firewood production, a major threat to deforestation in most tropical countries. Biological inventory work. Extensive research has been conducted on the relation of brush clearance to biodiversity decline and impact on water tables. New Zealand has ratified the Convention on Biological Diversity and as part of The New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and Biodiversity Action Plans are implemented on ten separate themes. Local government and some companies have their own Biodiversity Action Plan; the St. Lucia BAP recognizes impacts of large numbers of tourists to the marine and coastal diversity of the Soufrière area of the country; the BAP acknowledges that the carrying capacity for human use and water pollution discharge of sensitive reef areas was exceeded by the year 1990.
The plan addresses conservation of the historic island fishing industry. In 1992, several institutions in
Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary
Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is a wildlife sanctuary and estuary situated in Andhra Pradesh, India. It is the second largest stretch of mangrove forests in India with 24 mangrove tree species and more than 120 bird species, it is home to the long billed vulture. In a mangrove ecosystem the water bodies of the ocean/sea and the river meet together at a certain point. Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary is 18 km from the port city of Kakinada, on the Kakinada-Yanam state highway in Chollangi Village, nestling on the deltaic branches of Gouthami and Godavari Rivers at Kakinada Bay, it is located between 16°-30' to 17°-00' N latitudes and 82°-14' to 82°-23'E longitudes. The sanctuary is a part of the Godavari estuary and has extensive mangrove and dry deciduous tropical forest. About half of the area is the backwater; the rivers Coringa and Gaderu and their deltaic branches intersect the region, along with other water channels. This forms about 335.7 square km of marsh vegetation. The average temperature of the region is 17 °C to 40 °C.
Average Rainfall is greater than 1,000 mm. The Sanctuary in the estuary of river godavari has rich mangrove vegetation. There are thirty five species of plants belonging to twenty four families; the plant species that are found are: Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina, Avicennia alba, Excoecaria agallocha, Rhizophora mucronata, Ceriops decandra, Bruguiera gymnorhiza, Lumnitzera recemosa, Sonneratia apetala, Rhizophora conjugata, Aegiceras corniculatum, Thespesia populneoides and Hibiscus tiliaceus. Apart from the tree species, some of the shrubs found in the sanctuary are Dalbergia spinosa, Derris trifoliata. Herbs like Sesuvium portulacastrum, Suaeda maritima, Suaeda monoica and Salicornia brachiatta and grasses like Aeluropus lagopoides, Porteresia coarctate and Myriostachya wightiana are found in the sanctuary; the sanctuary possesses a wide variety of birds, because of the feed available in the backwaters of the mangrove forest. During low tide, some of the areas are exposed having small fishes and mollusks.
These attract avifauna for feeding. Some critically endangered species like the white-backed vulture and the long billed vulture are present in the sanctuary; the painted stork, Oriental white ibis, ferruginous pochard found in the sanctuary are near threatened species, spot-billed pelican is a vulnerable species. Significant populations of waders and mangrove birds are present. Altogether, more than 120 species of birds have been reported and among them some of the found birds in the sanctuary are: little egret, cattle egret, pied kingfisher, small blue kingfisher, black-capped kingfisher, pond heron, reef heron, grey heron, night heron, little stint, redshank, red-wattled lapwing, crow pheasant, sea gulls, purple heron, brahmini kite, openbill stork, little cormorant. Apart from the avian fauna, the sanctuary has a fair population of golden jackal, sea turtle and fishing cat, a healthy breeding population of smooth-coated otter; the sanctuary has an 18-km long sand pit where olive ridley sea turtles nest from January to March every year.
Efforts to reintroduce the saltwater crocodile into the sanctuary during the 1970s met with failure and the species has not been present within the sanctuary for over 30 years. As it is easy to access and in close vicinity to port town kakinada and near by villages which are inhabited, the mangroves are being exploited by the local population. A socio-economic study by the Indian Bird Conservation Network found that most of the local fishermen harvest wood in the forest and depend on the mangroves for their basic needs; the species Avicennia officinalis, Avicennia marina are being used for fuelwood. The existence of otters has been hit badly because of increased habitat destruction; the increasing industrialisation of Godavari Delta, increasing aquaculture activities and fishing pressure have affected the population of otters. The Andhra Pradesh Forest Department has taken steps to ensure conservation of otters and for afforestation of mangroves in the sanctuary
Brackish water is water having more salinity than freshwater, but not as much as seawater. It may result from mixing seawater with fresh water together, as in estuaries, or it may occur in brackish fossil aquifers; the word comes from the Middle Dutch root "brak". Certain human activities can produce brackish water, in particular civil engineering projects such as dikes and the flooding of coastal marshland to produce brackish water pools for freshwater prawn farming. Brackish water is the primary waste product of the salinity gradient power process; because brackish water is hostile to the growth of most terrestrial plant species, without appropriate management it is damaging to the environment. Technically, brackish water contains between 0.5 and 30 grams of salt per litre—more expressed as 0.5 to 30 parts per thousand, a specific gravity of between 1.005 and 1.010. Thus, brackish covers a range of salinity regimes and is not considered a defined condition, it is characteristic of many brackish surface waters that their salinity can vary over space or time.
Brackish water condition occurs when fresh water meets seawater. In fact, the most extensive brackish water habitats worldwide are estuaries, where a river meets the sea; the River Thames flowing through London is a classic river estuary. The town of Teddington a few miles west of London marks the boundary between the tidal and non-tidal parts of the Thames, although it is still considered a freshwater river about as far east as Battersea insofar as the average salinity is low and the fish fauna consists predominantly of freshwater species such as roach, carp and pike; the Thames Estuary becomes brackish between Battersea and Gravesend, the diversity of freshwater fish species present is smaller roach and dace. Further east, the salinity increases and the freshwater fish species are replaced by euryhaline marine ones, until the river reaches Gravesend, at which point conditions become marine and the fish fauna resembles that of the adjacent North Sea and includes both euryhaline and stenohaline marine species.
A similar pattern of replacement can be observed with the aquatic plants and invertebrates living in the river. This type of ecological succession from a freshwater to marine ecosystem is typical of river estuaries. River estuaries form important staging points during the migration of anadromous and catadromous fish species, such as salmon and eels, giving them time to form social groups and to adjust to the changes in salinity. Salmon are anadromous, meaning they ascend rivers to spawn. Besides the species that migrate through estuaries, there are many other fish that use them as "nursery grounds" for spawning or as places young fish can feed and grow before moving elsewhere. Herring and plaice are two commercially important species that use the Thames Estuary for this purpose. Estuaries are commonly used as fishing grounds, as places for fish farming or ranching. For example, Atlantic salmon farms are located in estuaries, although this has caused controversy, because in doing so, fish farmers expose migrating wild fish to large numbers of external parasites such as sea lice that escape from the pens the farmed fish are kept in.
Another important brackish water habitat is the mangrove mangal. Many, though not all, mangrove swamps fringe estuaries and lagoons where the salinity changes with each tide. Among the most specialised residents of mangrove forests are mudskippers, fish that forage for food on land, archer fish, perch-like fish that "spit" at insects and other small animals living in the trees, knocking them into the water where they can be eaten. Like estuaries, mangrove swamps are important breeding grounds for many fish, with species such as snappers and tarpon spawning or maturing among them. Besides fish, numerous other animals use mangroves, including such species as the saltwater crocodile, American crocodile, proboscis monkey, diamondback terrapin, the crab-eating frog, Fejervarya cancrivora. Mangroves represent important nesting site for numerous birds groups such as herons, spoonbills, kingfishers and seabirds. Although plagued with mosquitoes and other insects that make them unpleasant for humans, mangrove swamps are important buffer zones between land and sea, are a natural defense against hurricane and tsunami damage in particular.
The Sundarbans and Bhitarkanika Mangroves are two of the large mangrove forests in the world, both on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. Some seas and lakes are brackish; the Baltic Sea is a brackish sea adjoining the North Sea. The confluence of two major river systems prior to the Pleistocene, since it has been flooded by the North Sea but still receives so much freshwater from the adjacent lands that the water is brackish; because the salt water coming in from the sea is denser than freshwater, the water in the Baltic is stratified, with salt water at the bottom and freshwater at the top. Limited mixing occurs because of the lack of tides and storms, with the result that the fish fauna at the surface is freshwater in composition while that lower down is more marine. Cod are an example of a species only found in deep water in the Baltic, while pike are confined to the less saline surface waters; the Caspian Sea is the world's largest lake and contains brackish water with a salinity about one-third that of normal seawater.
The Caspian is famous for its peculiar animal fauna, including one of