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What killed fish and birds in Al Qudra Lake during Eid holidays?

Dubai Municipality launches investigation, tests samples after dead birds and fish wash ashore

06:29 September 13, 2017
NAT QUDRA
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Dubai: Dubai Municipality is investigating the deaths of a number of birds and fish in Al Qudra Lake during Eid holidays.

Visitors to the lake, now a popular picnic destination for several residents especially during public holidays, witnessed the carcasses of fishes and birds washed ashore.

“I hoped to see the beautiful lake as seen in pictures but the scenario was different,” Chitra George wrote to Gulf News.

“The fishes, ducks and swans were found dead along the banks and it was a very heartbreaking sight,” she said providing some photos.

She urged the authorities to save the rest of the birds and fishes and preserve the lake’s beauty and habitat.

Investigation

When contacted, Dubai Municipality officials confirmed the incident and said an investigation is already underway.

Officials from the Environment Department, Waste Management Department and Dubai Safari have already been working on this, officials said.

“Samples have been taken and the affected lake was cleaned up. There is no such problem over there now,” said one of them who did not wish to be identified.

Officials also confirmed that the Dubai Central Lab is carrying out tests to confirm the cause of the deaths of the lake’s inhabitants.

“The actual cause will be known only after the lab test results are out. Primarily we are suspecting the high temperatures. Thousands of fishes and birds are still alive there. Some must have died on one day, possibly when the temperature was very high,” said another official.

Experts pointed out that fish usually dies when temperature goes too high and water level is limited. Warmer temperatures can also prevent water from mixing, allowing algae to grow.

Daytime temperatures could have reached up to 47 degree Celsius in internal areas during Eid holidays as per the forecast.

Al Qudra Lake is a manmade lake located in the middle of the Seih Al Salam desert near Bab Al Shams Resort. Supervised by the municipality, it is one of at least six other huge freshwater bodies created by Dubai government.

Hundreds of migratory birds have taken residence in Al Qudra Lake after improvements were made in the area.

However, residents had previously reported seeing dead birds and fishes lying next to trash left behind by visitors after the lake became a popular tourist destination. The Waste Management Department of the Municipality had beefed up cleaning services and provided additional bins to encourage visitors to properly discard garbage. Officials had also urged visitors to avoid littering in or around the lake.