Source: The post is based on the article “Gujarat: CAG finds 117 hectares of mangroves destroyed in Kutch; asks govt to save ‘Kharai” breed of camels from extinction” published in Indian Express on 31st March 2023
What is the News?
Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) in its report tabled in the Gujarat Assembly has asked the government to preserve mangroves and save the ‘Kharai’ breed of camels.
What is Kharai?
The Kharai are a rare breed of camel found in the salt marshes of the Kutch district in the western state of Gujarat.
They are well adapted to the saline desert environment and are known for their ability to swim (hence also known as ‘swimming camel’).
They swim long distances in the sea to reach their grazing areas, usually more than 3 km at a time, even in deep waters.
They eat large volumes of mangroves or saline plant species. They live in a dual ecosystem of land and coast and are found only in Gujarat.
The Kharai was recognised as a separate breed in 2015 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR).
What did the CAG report find?
CAG has found that nearly 117 hectares of mangroves have been destroyed.
The destruction of these mangroves in CRZ (Coastal Regulatory Zone) areas not only proves costly to ecosystems but also poses a threat of extinction to a unique breed of ‘Kharai’ camels which are dependent on the mangroves for their food.