A spectacular natural & seasonal lake is shallow and in most parts muddy lagoon,seldom more than 2 mts. deep.The lake has as many as 360 islets most of which exposed when the water level receeds.Nal is very rich in Avi fauna.In fact its whole reputation is based on the varied bird life found here.Nal supports more than250 species of birds,including many migratory species from as far off as Central Asia,Europe and Siberia flock to Nal.
About the Sanctuary
The sand-dunes of the Thar or Great Indian Desert slowly flatten out into
a vast expanse of scrub-dotted, saline plain in the south. This is Gujarat's
Rann of Kutch. The larger Great Rann to the north, abutting the Pakistan border
and south Rajasthan, is renowned for its enormous breeding colony of flamingos.
The Little Pann is the last stronghold of the Indian Wild Ass, or Ghorkhar,
to which a 4953.71 sq km sanctuary has been dedicated. The Wild Ass Wildlife
Sanctuary is also home to various other mammals such as the Nilgai, an antelope-like
animal found only in India, the Wolf and the Indian Fox. A great assortment
of birds can be sighted in winter. Cranes and flamingos gather in thousands;
there are raptors in plenty and some rare MacQueen's Bustard.
It is said that Alexander the Great embarked on his journey home from a port in the Rann region when it was still an inlet of the sea. Gradually, the Rann was severed from the Gulf of Kutch. Dry and motorable between November and June, large tracts are still inundated by at least 30 cm of sea-water during the monsoon months. The Little Rann is only about 60 cm above sea-level, but over 70 bets, or patches of high ground, rise to almost 3 m. Pung Bet, the largest, spreads over 75 sq km. These less saline areas, with luxuriant grass cover interspersed with thorny scrub, are the mainstay of the Rann flora and fauna, and of the wild ass in particular.
Once found across the drier tracts of north-west India and Pakistan, today the wild ass herds are confined to the Little Rann. E P Gee, the naturalist, estimated a population of barely 870 animals in 1962. Wild asses can run for long distances maintaining an average speed of about 50 km. Exploiting this fact, several tour operators take visitors on a wild ass chase across the desert, imperilling an already endangered animal. At dawn and dusk, the Little Rann is clothed in wonderful hues and it is a joy to view wild ass silhouettes against the setting sun. In the hot, dry months mirages are frequent, and blurred outlines of animals on quivering water can be seen one moment, uncannily disappearing the next.
The Indian Wild Ass has lived for long in relative harmony with its predominantly vegetarian human neighbours. Now the flourishing salt industry is jeopardizing the animal's future. Unfortunately, the Rann is perceived as a wasteland, which could be agriculturally developed by introducing adequate irrigational facilities. This would change its ecology irrevocably. Without proper protective measures, the wild ass's nimble-footedness may not be insurance enough against possible extinction.
MAMMALS Indian Wild Ass, Blackbuck, Chinkara (Indian Gazelle), Nilgai (Blue Bull), Wolf, Caracal, Desert Cat, Indian Fox, Striped Hyena, Indian Pangolin, Small Indian Mongoose, Indian Desert Gerbil
REPTILES Spiny-tailed Lizard, Yellow Monitor, Black Cobra, Sand Boa
BIRDS BUSTARDS MacQueen's Bustard RAPTORS Short-toed Snake Eagle, Long-legged Buzzard, Steppe Eagle, Imperial Eagle, Laggar Falcon, Saker Falcon, Short-cared Owl
SCRUB/OPEN AREAS Eurasian Thick-knee, Collared Pratincole, White-tailed Lapwing, Yellow-wattled Lapwing (below), Sirkeer Malkoha, Blue-checked Bee-eater, Southern Grey Shrike (above),Variable Wheatear, Common Stonechat
WATERSIDE Lesser Flamingo, Greater Flamingo, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork, White Stork, Eurasian Spoonbill, Great Crested Grebe, Great White Pelican, Dalmatian Pelican, Demoiselle Crane, Common Crane, Spotbill Duck, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Caspian Tern, Pied Avocet
Garha Safari Lodge
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