The Welcoming Refuge: Anaikeni Pond

Any living organism has great importance and role to play in an Eco-System. Lakes & ponds are diverse in multiple levels. Water, land, and the atmosphere react to form a unique wonderland. Ponds are little hotspots of life in cramped urban spaces or lush rural areas. A waterbody’s state can be ascertained by the surrounding, the color of water, and even the spotting of living organisms. Living organisms are one of the most significant indicators in helping us understand the water body. One such living organism is the Ditch Jewel. A Dragonfly.

Ditch Jewel is a common dragonfly that can be found all over the Indian sub-continent near ponds, lakes, and canals. They are able to survive in any small water system even if it is polluted. One can easily recognize the waterbody’s state by observing these dragonflies. While many dragonflies restrict their habitat to pristine waters, the Ditch Jewel habitat is flexible. Their habitat is even dubbed as ‘’ A Dragonfly of polluted waters.”

Anaikeni Pond before restoration was a pond that was home to the Ditch Jewel. One could easily spot them along the bund and even on the water surface! The water surface was fully covered with hyacinth, and the bunds were non-existent! Dragonfly’s life cycle evolves from water, land, and then to the air. With both the water surface and the land nearly uninhabitable, the diversity and number of the dragonflies were very less and limited. Ditch Jewel dominated the landscape and waterscape.

The restoration of the Anaikeni Pond was completed in the November of 2020. After that during a recent field visit to the Anaikeni pond, we were finding it difficult to spot Ditch jewel. The Ditch Jewel-dominated pond was now found with different dragonflies like the Coromandel Marsh dart and the Green Marsh Hawk! One of the new inhabitants spotted in the pond is the Wandering Midget. The pond is now even home to Wetland birds like spot-billed ducks. The increase in the number of other dragonflies and the migration of wetland birds to the pond is a sign of new life for the pond.

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