25 Nov 19 - Source: Myanmar Times - The government is closely monitoring a wetlands in Bago Region that irrigates nearby farmland and serves as a refuge for migratory birds, a Forest Department official said.
Department officials are checking the water quality in the Moeyungyi wetlands, which is one of the man-made lakes in the country and is a popular place for bird watchers.
The Moeyungyi wetlands are about 70 miles north of Yangon in Waw township in Bago. British colonialists built the lake in 1878 as a reservoir.
It is now used to irrigate nearby farmlands, support fisheries, provide clean water, store carbon and protect local people from natural disasters.
"We just survey and fetch the water for testing," an officer of the sanctuary said.
The wetland is a haven for migratory birds, fishes and other wildlife but its biodiversity is threatened by illegal trapping, battery/electro-fishing, and the trafficking of turtles, giant water bugs and snakes, among others.
Migratory water birds annually visit Moeyungyi Lake from early November until January. It is home to 20,844 birds, including 44 migratory species and 67 resident species, according to the Biodiversity and Nature Conservation Association.
Moeyingyi was designated as a Ramsar site in 2004 because it plays a hydrological, biological and ecological role in protecting resident and migratory water fowl.
The 103-square-kilometre lake is a source of fresh water for rice cultivation in surrounding areas.