LAKE NATRON (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     25th June 2024        
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Context: Millions of pink flamingos transform the alkaline waters of Lake Natron in northern Tanzania into a dazzling sea of fluttering feathers every day.

Lake Natron

  • About: It is located in northern Tanzania on the border with Kenya, lying within the East African Rift System.
  • Hostile Environment: Lake Natron in Tanzania and Lake Bogoria in Kenya are hostile to most forms of life, with surface temperatures soaring up to 40 degrees Celsius.
  • Habitat: Despite the harsh conditions, these lakes are perfect habitats for flamingos.

oThe lake’s warm water is an ideal breeding ground for the Rift Valley flamingos.

  • Nearby Volcano: The Gelai volcano, standing at 9,652 feet (2,942 meters), is situated at the southeastern edge of Lake Natron.
  • Chemical Composition: These lakes, filled with caustic soda and hypersaline water, deter most predators but provide a haven for fascinating migratory birds.
  • Unique Ecosystem: Lake Natron, a Ramsar site on the Tanzania-Kenya border, has a unique composition of warm waters, salt, caustic soda, and magnesite deposits that create ideal conditions for flamingos to thrive.


  • About: These are large shore birds with S-like long necks and sticklike legs.
  • Species of Flamingos:

oGreater Flamingo

oChilean Flamingo

oAmerican Flamingo (Also known as the Caribbean Flamingo)

oLesser Flamingo

oAndean Flamingo

oJames’s Flamingo (Also known as the Puna Flamingo).

  • World Distribution: Found in tropical and subtropical areas.
  • In India: Two species of flamingos are found – the Greater Flamingo and the Lesser Flamingo.
  • Habitat: Flamingos inhabit shallow eutrophic waterbodies such as saline lagoons, saltpans, and saline or alkaline lakes.