Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary
Indian Wild Ass Sanctuary also known as the Wild Ass Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the Little Rann of Kutch in the Gujarat state of India. Spread over 4954 km², it is the largest wildlife sanctuary in India.
The Rann of Kutch is a saline desert. During monsoon, the Rann (Gujarati for desert) gets flooded for a period of about one month and is dotted with about 74 elevated plateaus or islands, locally called 'bets'. These bets are covered with grass and feed the population of around 2100 animals.
The sanctuary is habitat to many species of animals and birds. According to the data submitted to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre the sanctuary has
- About 93 species of invertebrates - 25 species of zooplanktons, 1 species of annelid, 4 crustaceans, 24 insects, 12 molluscs and 27 spiders.
- 4 species of amphibians
- 29 species of reptiles - 2 species of turtles, 14 species of lizards, 12 snakes and 1 crocodile
- Metapenaeus kutchensis - a type of prawn
- 70,000-75,000 bird nests
- 9 mammalian orders with 33 species/subspecies - including the world’s last population of the Khur sub-species of the wild ass