(Last Updated on : 01/07/2013)
This is a small area of just 2 sq. km, pulsating with avifaunal and mammalian life of the grassland habitat. This protected pocket, located in the vast tract of grassland ecosystem of Abdasa taluka, was established in 1992. It is situated near Nalia and covers the forest area of Jakhau and Budia villages.
The area is ideal for those wanting to see Great Indian Bustard in Gujarat. However, by no means is the area only for this endangered bird. An eco-tourist having interest in the whole spectrum of grassland fauna would find it a little paradise. Kutch Bustard Sanctuary provides food and shelter to an endangered bird of the Indian subcontinent-the Great Indian Bustard. In recent times, when this bustard has been almost wiped out from entire Gujarat, the significance of this place has been highlighted, at least for the state. The Sanctuary gets high conservation value for many other reasons also.
It is an area where species like lesser florican, chinkara and wolf inhabit; all of which are considered threatened in one or the other ways [IUCN criteria or Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972]. Also owing to the presence of black partridge, the importance of the PA is heightened. This is a grassland habitat with sparse vegetation of bushy Zyziphus sp. The entire Sanctuary is predominated by this single habitat.
A variety of grassland birds are seen here. An eco-tourist can assured of seeing the endangered Great Indian Bustard ('Ghorad') in a suitable season. About a dozen bustards were recorded here in 1989. Present population is about two dozen in the taluka. Forest Department had also recorded three nesting sites of the Lesser Florican. The Sanctuary is good place to see this bird. One of the largest concentrations of this species in the State is found in this Sanctuary. Recently, in 1999, 66 floricans (mainly males) had been recorded here.
Black Partridge ('Kalo Tetar') is seen very frequently, which enhances the joy of birding. It may be noted that Black Partridge is seen only in limited areas of the state. The Sanctuary is also a good place to see raptors like harriers and eagles and migratory birds like Houbara Bustard and Common Crane.
An eco-tourist with an interest in mammalian wildlife may see wolf, jungle cat and desert cat. A local range forest officer had sighted a caracal here. An eco-tourist can feel assured that he will see the chinkara or Indian gazelle. It is estimated that over 425 chinkara occur in and around the Sanctuary. One would be bewildered to see groups of over two dozen chinkaras very commonly in this area. Usually, the antelope is seen solitarily or non-gregariously in other parts of the state. Local forest official registered progressive growth in number of chinkara. Human population is very sparse in and around the Sanctuary. Livestock grazing is one of their important activities.