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Loktak Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Northeast India and is famous for the phumdis (heterogeneous mass of vegetation, soil and organic matter at various stages of decomposition) floating over it. The lake is located near Moirang in Manipur state, India. The etymology of Loktak is Lok = "stream" and tak = "the end". The largest of all the phumdis covers an area of 40 km2 (15 sq mi) and is situated on the southeastern shore of the lake. Located on this phumdi, Keibul Lamjao National Park is the only floating national park in the world. The park is the last natural refuge of the endangered Sangai (state animal), Rucervus eldii eldii or Manipur brown-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), one of three subspecies of Eld's deer. This ancient lake plays an important role in the economy of Manipur. It serves as a source of water for hydropower generation, irrigation and drinking water supply. The lake is also a source of livelihood for the rural fishermen who live in the surrounding areas and on phumdis, also known as “phumshongs”. Human activity has led to severe pressure on the lake ecosystem. 55 rural and urban hamlets around the lake have a population of about 100,000 people. Considering the ecological status and its biodiversity values, the lake was initially designated as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on 23 March 1990. It was also listed under the Montreux Record on 16 June 1993, "a record of Ramsar sites where changes in ecological character have occurred, are occurring or are likely to occur".
2.5
Keibul Lamjao National Park The Keibul Lamjao National Park (Kei- Tiger, Bul - vast, Lamjao-Land) is a national park in the Bishnupur district of the state of Manipur in India. It is 40 km2 (15.4 sq mi) in area, the only floating park in the world, located in North East India, and an integral part of Loktak Lake. The national park is characterized by many floating decomposed plant materials locally called phumdis. To preserve the natural refuge of the endangered Manipur Eld's deer or brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi), or sangai also called the dancing deer, listed as an endangered species by IUCN, the park which was initially declared to be a sanctuary in 1966, was subsequently declared to be a national park in 1977 through a gazette notification. The act has generated local support and public awareness. The brow-antlered deer, which was first discovered in Manipur in 1839 and named Cervus eldi eldi in 1844 in honour of Lt. Percy Eld – a British officer, was reported an extinct species in 1951. It was re–discovered in the Keibul Lamjao Park area by the environmentalist and photographer E.P. Gee, which necessitated declaring this reserve park area as a national park to protect and conserve the deer now called Eld's deer's subspecies brow-antlered deer (Cervus eldi eldi) or Sangai in Meitei language (to distinguish it from the other two sub species found in Burma and Thailand that are called Cervus eldii thamin and Cervus eldii siamensis and also in Cambodia, China, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and Hainan Island). It has a pride of place in the folklore and culture of the Manipur state and is the state animal of Manipur. From a small herd of 14 deer in 1975, its population was reportedly 155 in 1995 and as per the latest wildlife census conducted in March, April 2016 its number rise to 260.