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From: Dan Richter (1:317/3)
To: All
Date: Sat, 08.05.21 13:00
MODIS Pic of the Day 08 May 2021
May 8, 2021 - Lake Bangweulu, Zambia


Zambia, DRC, Lake Bangweulu

The Bangweulu Wetlands, located in the upper Congo River basin in
northern Zambia, consists of Lake Bagweulu, the adjacent Lake Walilupe,
floodplains, seasonally flooded grasslands, woodlands and permanent
swamps fed by seventeen rivers. Roughly the size of the US state of
Connecticut, the wetlands provide a home to 400 bird species, including
the amazing shoebill stork, at least 80 species of fish, and a large
number of other animals, including the endemic and threatened type of
antelope known as the black lechwe. Lake Bangweulu and the surrounding
wetlands have been identified as one of the world’s most important
wetlands by the Ramsar Convention and as an Important Bird Area (IBA)
by BirdLife International.

These globally important and stunning wetlands are also important to
the local population, many who depend on the fabulous fishery the lake
has provided for their food or livelihood. As often happens when
people’s needs expand, the lake was becoming overfished and wildlife
populations were dropping. In 2008, six Community Resource Boards
(CRBs) who own the land entered into a long-term agreement with the
Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW), coming together to
sustainably manage and protect their natural assets in a way that would
also provide long-term sustainability for people. Bangweulu is now a
community-owned protected wetland made up of Game Management Areas and
is legally home to 50,000 people who retain the right to sustainably
harvest its natural resources. Under the watchful communal management
system, fish stocks have rebounded in Lake Bangweulu, bushmeat poaching
has been strongly reduced, and the population of black lechwe has risen
from 35,000 to 50,000. The beauty and diversity of the ecosystem, along
with increasing populations of birds and animals, has strengthened
ecotourism, adding to the economy and welfare of the people of the

On May 7, 2021, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer
(MODIS) on board NASA’s Terra satellite acquired a true-color image of
Lake Bangweulu and surrounding flood plains and wetlands. The gray
smudge to the west of Lake Bangweulu is the city of Mansa, the capital
of the Luapula Province of Zambia.

Image Facts
Satellite: Terra
Date Acquired: 5/7/2021
Resolutions: 1km (264.4 KB), 500m (670.4 KB), 250m (280 KB)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC
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