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Grassland and Great Indian Bustard Conservation Proposal
  PROJECT 1-A
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  PROJECT 2-B  
  Rescue and Rehabilitation Project for injured Wildlife.  
     
  PROJECT 3-C  
  Education and Awareness-Snake Role in Nature.  
     
 

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Grassland and Great Indian Bustard Conservation Proposal

Grassland and Great Indian Bustard Conservation
Bio-Reserve Park Proposal Kutch Region
Gujarat State, India

By Dr. A. Rahmani (BNHS)
Great Indian Bustard in the pristine Grassland Habitat
Prepared by: Yash Chhaya

 

 

 

 


 

 

Ecocare Foundation

Introduction

Vast stretches of grassy plains called DON in Nalliya-Abdasa district of upper western corner region of Kutch in Gujarat state is the last home of the fast vanishing Great Indian Bustard, a bird of the open grassland. A ground bird much confined to the Indian sub continent is now have a very limited range and is currently found in the drier part of Rajasthan, small group of about 30 birds in Maharastra and few birds in the isolated grass patches of Andra Pradesh. In Kutch only 35 to 40 birds are concentrated in the remote area. Bombay Natural History Society, one of the respected conservation foundations in Mumbai estimates their number to be less then 600 to 700 birds in India today.

Map of Kutch District Showing the Prime Grassland for Rare Creatures of the Habitat

 

 

 

 

 

Current key threats are habitat loss; modification and fragmentation as a result of widespread agricultural development and land-use change including the un-controlled livestock grazing have created tremendous pressure on the existing grassland. As per the survey done, most of the original grassland in the western States of India is reduce in size by forty percent in last fifty years.

Current key threats are habitat loss; modification and fragmentation as a result of widespread agricultural development and land-use change including the un-controlled livestock grazing have created tremendous pressure on the existing grassland. As per the survey done, most of the original grassland in the western States of India is reduce in size by forty percent in last fifty years.

Objective

The Nalliya grassland is the pristine habitat left un-disturb now in the Kutch district. The area has great potential of being the last stronghold of great Indian bustard and other endangered species such as Indian Wolf, Indian gazelle or Chinkara antelope, Black Partridge. During the winter months hundred of migratory cranes and birds of prey visit the habitat for their winter hideout. The industrial growth in the recent years has inevitably thrown up profound challenges to its fragile but remarkable and unique ecosystem.

Protected Grassland in monsoon season

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are several sub projects that can be built into bio-reserve Park. To begin with we propose a project on Grassland ecology. As part of the project:

  • Create a habitat with local species of grasses and medicinal plants to provide shelter, food and breeding areas for native birds such as Great I. Bustard, Black Francolin or Partridge, lesser Florican and other birds. This safe wilderness will also give secure home to Indian Wolf, Chinkara antelope, caracal and local medicinal plants and tress such as Gugal .All these animals are highly endangered as per International Union for conservation foundation and are placed in the red data book

  • Organize talks and slide shows at the village schools to bring awareness and to educate the students and the local people about the importance of grassland management and their benefit to the community and the conservation value.

  • Conduct training sessions with NGO organizations to educate and inform cattle and sheep grazers about seasonal grazing and harvesting methods, preserving core zone for the re-generation of plant life and to protect the environment to provide the un-polluted communities around the villages.

Once initial project is in place, work should begin expanding the ambit of the bio-reserve to create:
  • An attractive ecological destination for the people of the State and the Country which is both educational and recreational to enjoy and respect the outdoor life.
  • Build ecological tourism packages around the park.
  • Give the park international visibility by seeking affiliations with global ecological organizations.
  • Park will act as a field station and the research place for fast vanishing birds, animals and reptiles of the semi-arid , bush land by crating a protected wildlife zone away from the farming and industrial development.

Nalliya, Don Grassland during the winter time.

Requirements

  • Land
  • Funds
  • Personnel
  • Infrastructure
  • Habitat management expertise

Land

This is the most crucial and important step in creating a bio-reserve park. We would require between 100 to 1000 acre wasteland or semi-arid degraded grassland to get the project off the ground immediately. The land will be in the custody of ECOCARE not for profit trust overseen by people of unimpeachable personal integrity and high professional success. It is must that the land is within the geographical suitable habitat within the few hundred miles radius of the current Great Indian Bustard population and other flora and fauna of the region.

Current Bustard Sanctuary is very small to provide viable protection to the breeding population at LaLa in Abdasa region. It is also surrounded by farmland and birds are disturbed by such activities.

 

 

 


Fund

Initial capital is available to develop the wasteland in to the pristine wildlife habitat for the next two years. Two broad funding mechanisms will be required for the project-Private and Government. In terms of private or individual funding, series of events are planned in India, USA. UK and early indications are that we are receiving excellent support. We are currently working out the Budget.

Personnel

To begin with we will require:
  • One bio-reserve field Guard –full time
  • Two to three volunteers to do the activities of awareness and conservation.
  • One part time ranger/officer to supervise park, infrastructure and protection.

Infrastructure

  • Field office cabin/hut at location.
  • Mobile phone, IT, PC communication facilities.
  • Strong web presence.
  • Video camera
  • One vehicle

Habitat Management Expertise

We have identified conservation foundation to provide the habitat development expertise. They are Bombay Natural H. Society, World wildlife Fund, Ashoka Tree, GEER Foundation, Living Desert in California, USA. Some of the biologist has 30 years of expertise and have done detailed research work on the grassland ecology such as Dr. A. Rahmani of BNHS.

Image: Mr. R. Rathod,Sanskruti Darshan.
Black Francolin or Partridge whose numbers are reducing in Kutch due to habitat loss.

 

 

 


Conclusion

It is our hope and mission to safeguard the rare and unique wilderness of grassland of Kutch by creating a safe and secure protected area . As the time passes, we are loosing the diversified ecological habitat and the land due to ever expanding agricultural activities and industrialization to meet the needs and wants of increasing human population whose priority come first as always. We need your support and help to create a better World for all of us
 
 
 
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