Great White Pelicans @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Indian Wild Ass or Onager @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
The mudflats of Little Rann @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Short-eared Owl @ Aditya Singh
Peregrine Falcon @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Indian Wild Ass @ Aditya Singh
Demoiselle Cranes @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Desert Fox pups @ Dhritiman Mukherjee
Little Rann of KutchThe Little Rann of Kutch
The Little Rann of Kutch (LRK) is one of the most remarkable and unique landscapes in the world. Once an arm of the Arabian Sea till geological forces separated it from the sea, it became a vast, featureless plain with an unbroken bare surface of dark silt encrusted with salts. After getting parched in the long dry season, the mudflat transforms into a spectacular coastal wetland during the brief wet season when it is inundated with water. The standing waters, interspersed with sandy islets of thorny scrub become breeding grounds for large flocks of Lesser Flamingoes, the only known place outside of Africa where they breed.
Several sandy, salt-free areas of higher ground or ‘bets’ rise 2-3 m above the flood level to provide wet-season refuges for the region’s wildlife in this parched habitat. The vegetation is largely xerophytic and consists of grasses and dry thorny scrub, with hardly any large trees except in the bets, where the exotic Prosopis juliflora abounds.
LRK is best known for the last population of the endangered Asiatic Wild Ass or Onager for whose protection the sanctuary was designated. The main carnivores of the Little Rann are the Indian wolf, Desert & Indian Fox, Golden Jackal, Jungle Cat, Striped Hyena and Grey Mongoose. Herbovores found here are the Nilgai antelope, Black Buck, Chinkara or Indian Gazelle and Wild Pigs. Smaller mammals include Indian hare, Indian Gerbil, House Shrew, Indian Desert Jird and Indian hedgehog.
Due to its strategic location near the Gulf of Kutch on the bird migration route, the LRK sanctuary provides an important feeding, breeding and roosting habitat for a large number of birds. Besides the globally threatened Houbara Bustard that winter here, other notable species are the Sykes’s Nightjar, Greater Hoopoe Lark, Indian Courser and Sociable Lapwing. Raptors here are the Montagu’s and Pallid Harriers, Imperial, Tawny and Greater Spotted Eagles, Merlin and Peregrine Falcon. Wetlands located at the periphery of the sanctuary support large flocks of Lesser and Greater Flamingos, Great White and Dalmatian Pelicans, Asian Openbill, Open-billed, Painted and Wolly-necked Storks, Sarus, Common and Demoiselle Cranes.
- State: Gujarat
- Area: 4954 sq km
- Vegetation: Saline mud-flats, scrubs and marshes in the periphery and bets
- Water resources:
- Winter: November to February
- Summer: March to June
- Temperature: 10 to 44 Degree Centigrade
- Rainfall: Less than 380 mm annually