Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary

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This article is about desert sanctuary in Badin district, Pakistan. For counterpart in India, see Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary.

Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary[1] is located in Badin District, Sindh, Pakistan.

The Rann of Kutch is geographically the widest Ramsar site spread over 566,375 hectares (320463 acres) out of all 10 identified Ramsar sites in Sindh. Besides, the Ramsar site, in 1980 it was also declared a wildlife sanctuary by the Sindh government.

This sanctuary is supporting nature’s richest ecosystem. It provides food and shelter to a number of migratory and local wildlife species. The marshy Rann of Kutch, with its surrounding Thar desert area in Sindh, is one of the most potential habitats for a number of animals and birds in the province.

This area is known to be a breeding ground for flamingoes and staging ground for pelicans, cranes, storks and many species of waterfowl. It is also an important site for animals like blue bull, chinkara and desert wolf, which have been sighted over here regularly. The site supports many species of birds and mammals which are locally and globally threatened. The site is also a wintering area for water birds. It is estimated that this wetland regularly supports over 40,000 water birds.

The marshy habitat is most attractive for water bird species such as common teal, shell duck, mallard, pochard, flamingo and pelican. Occasionally, the range of other species has also been seen in the outskirts of the site. These include peafowl, sarus cranes, houbara bustard and the peregrine and saker falcons.

Furthermore, the area has its unique identity among one of the five famous eco-ranges of Pakistan. Out of seven routes for migratory birds in Central Asia, the Indus green route passes through the Thar desert, making it more important zone from wildlife perspective.[2]