|National Park||Fact Sheet|
Banni Grasslands Reserve form a belt of possibly the largest natural grassland on the Indian subcontinent on the outer southern edge of the desert of the marshy salt flats of Rann of Kutch. At the heart of the Kutch birding experience is Banni, It is both socio-culturally unique and ecologically valuable. It is about 85 kilometres northwest of Bhuj and spread over about 3,800 sq. km and hosts an incredible population of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Come monsoon, large areas of land are inundated by saline water, which, although shallow, has been instrumental in influencing the flora and fauna of this region.
Many factors have served to shape the Banni over time, including the damming of rivers that formerly drained the area of salt ingress from the neighboring sea, the spread of Prosopis juliflora, a fast growing exotic that was planted in the hope it would keep both salinity and aridity at bay, and the continually varying composition and density of livestock that have grazed these grasslands for many centuries.
Banni grasslands has a rich diversity of avifauna, herpatofauna and invertebrates. During good rainfall years the seasonal water bodies of Banni form important staging grounds for thousands of flamingos, migratory cranes and also support large numbers of over 150 species of migratory and resident birds
The Chari-Dhand wetland conservation reserve is located on the edge of arid Banni grasslands . Chari means salt affected and Dhand means shallow wetland, Dhand is a Sindhi word for a shallow saucer shaped depression. This is a seasonal desert wetland and only gets swampy during a good monsoon, receiving water from the north flowing rivers as well as from the huge catchment areas of many surrounding big hills. It is spread over an area of 80 sq. km. It is home to nearly two lakh birds with migratory and endangered species of birds flocking into the area in thousands during monsoon and winters.
Park Open : Open throughout the year.
Best Season : November - February
Main Attraction : Great place for many types of raptors and water dependent birds. Other key birds include Grey Hypocolius, White-naped Tit, MacQueen's Bustard and Dalmatian Pelicans.
Fauna : Blue bull, Black-naped hare, Jackal, Caracal
Shortest Route : Fly to Ahmedabad & driver to Bhuj (330 km)
State : Gujarat
Area : 3,847 sq. km
Altitude: 200 - 350 m
Vegetation : Low growing forbes & graminoids
Major City: Bhuj (80 0Km)
Airport : Ahmedabad (330 km)
Railway Station : Bhuj (80 km)
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