Natural History

Kutch, with its array of environments from the stark white desert of the Great Rann of Kutch in the north to the coastal areas of the Gulf of Kutch to its south, is one of the most exciting areas for watching birds, mammals and reptiles. Some of the key mammals seen here are the chinkara or Indian gazelle, the desert jird, the Indian gerbil, the Indian hare and hedgehogs. The carnivores include leopards in the hills, the Indian wolf in the grasslands, striped hyena, Indian and desert foxes, desert cat, caracal and golden jackal.

Lying on the migratory routes taken by birds flying from Siberia, west Asia and Central Asia to the tropical peninsula of India, spectacular flocks of magnificently coloured birds can be seen at the lakes and marshes of Kutch in the winter season between October and March. Semi-desert and grassland birds like larks, wheatears, sandgrouse, francolins, quails, etc. abound. Some of the specialties include the endangered great Indian bustard, lesser florican and Macqueen's bustard that can be seen at the Naliya grasslands, grey hypocolius, and globally-threatened species like the Stolizka's bushchat and white-naped tit. The Banni is also excellent for raptors, including critically-endangered vultures, globally-threatened eagles, falcons and harriers.

The mugger or marsh crocodile can sometimes be seen at Rudramata Lake from the property itself. Monitor lizard, spiny tailed lizard, saw scaled viper and other reptiles typical of the habitat could be seen.