Little Rann of Kutch

Map of Gujarat showing the Little Rann of Kutch and Great Rann of Kutch

Little desert of Kutch[1][2] is a salt marsh located near the Great Rann of Kutch in Kutch district, Gujarat, India.

Little Rann of Kutch West Part 1896
Little Rann of Kutch East Part 1896

Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary

Indian wild ass herd in Little Rann of Kutch

It is famous as the world's last refuge of the Indian wild ass (khur) for the conservation of which it has been declared as the Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary. Though a bleak landscape it is rich in biodiversity and is an ecologically important area for wildlife and many local and migratory waterbirds like cranes, ducks, pelicans, flamingos and land birds like sandgrouse, francolins and the Indian bustards.It is also home to various unique mammals apart from wild ass such as the Indian wolf (Canis lupus pallipes), desert fox (Vulpes vulpes pusilla) and nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus).

Biosphere reserve - world heritage site

It is nominated by the forest department to be a biosphere reserve which are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems internationally recognized within the framework of UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) programme. it will focus on conserving biological diversity, research, monitoring and providing sustainable development models, the proposal has been sent to and listed at UNESCO.[3][4][5]


Salt well in Kutch in 1891

Salt panning

Salt pane worker

There is traditional commercial salt panning[6] activity in the region which the state of Gujarat's Forest Department wants to discourage as it is considered a threat to ecology of the region, wildlife and to the endangered Indian wild ass.

Shrimp farming

The area is also being used to farm shrimp which is more profitable then salt panning, again this activity is discouraged by the forest department.

Wildlife sanctuaries and reserves of Kutch

From the city of Bhuj various ecologically rich and wildlife conservation areas of the Kutch / Kachchh district can be visited such as Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary, Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary, Narayan Sarovar Sanctuary, Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, Banni Grasslands Reserve and Chari-Dhand Wetland Conservation Reserve etc.

See also


  1. Needed in the Little Rann of Kutch, a marketing strategy worth its salt to help the Agariyas (2 page article online); by Adam Halliday; Jul 15, 2009; Indian Express Newspaper
  2. RTI revelation: govt has no data on Little Rann of Kutch (2 page article online); by Kamran Sulaimani; Feb 03, 2009; Indian Express Newspaper
  3. Nomination entry - UNESCO World Heritage Centre
  4. Kutch gets biosphere reserve status - The Greater and Little Rann of Kutch have finally got the much-awaited status of biosphere reserve.
  5. Kutch’s wild ass habitat may soon get heritage label (2 Page article online); by DP Bhattacharya; Jul 26, 2007; Indian Express Newspaper
  6. The salt-panners of the little Rann; kuensel online; Nov 16, 2009; asiaone news; Singapore Press Holdings

Further reading

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