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Threatened animals of Little Rann of Kachchh (LRK), Gujarat, India and their distribution in LRK in the recent time-frame

Author Affiliations

  • 1Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
  • 2Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
  • 3Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India
  • 4Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

Int. Res. J. Environment Sci., Volume 7, Issue (6), Pages 46-51, June,22 (2018)

Abstract

The Little Rann of Kachchh (LRK) is the only saline desert in India besides the Great Rann of Kachchh and it is spread over an area of 5,180 sq. km. A large portion (i.e. 3,569 sq. km) of it is legally protected as the Wild Ass Sanctuary (WAS). The LRK is inhabited by at least 210 species of birds, 33 species of mammals and 33 species of herps (reptiles and amphibians). Several species are globally Near Threatened (as per IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species 2017-3) and some are threatened [as per Schedule-I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972 and IUCN Red List]. An ecological study was conducted by GEER Foundation from October 2015 to March 2017 and as a part of it, an attempt was made to have an inventory of Near Threatened and threatened species of birds, mammals and Herpetofauna inhabiting fringes, major bets (islands) and mudflat areas of the LRK. It was found that 12 species of (birds, mammals, herps) were Schedule I species; whereas 1, 3, and 9 species were globally Critically Endangered (CR), Endangered (EN) and Vulnerable (VU) respectively. Moreover, 14 species were found to be Near Threatened (NT). The study indicated existence of a number of threatened (Schedule I, CR, EN and VU) and Near Threatened (NT) species in LRK. Therefore, it is recommended that stringent conservation measures should be implemented as the LRK is used for a wide range of socio-economic activities like salt manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, charcoal making (from Prosopis juliflora) and livestock grazing.

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