HC seeks report from Gujarat govt on mining leases granted within Wild Ass Sanctuary

Source: The post is based on the article “HC seeks report from Gujarat govt on mining leases granted within Wild Ass Sanctuary” published in the Indian Express on 16th March 2023.

What is the News?

Gujarat High Court recently sought a report from the state government on the licenses and permissions it has granted for mining activities within Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Rann of Kutch.

A PIL has been filed against permitting and allotting plots situated within the sanctuary to salt manufacturers. The petitioners argued that the allocation is in breach of the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972; the Indian Forest Act, 1927; the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and is violative of the Constitution.

About Wild Ass Sanctuary

Wild Ass Sanctuary
Source: TOI

It is the only place where the Indian wild ass, locally called Khacchar, is found. The sanctuary is home to a sizeable population of Rabari and Bharwad tribes.

Location: It is located in the Little Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. It can be considered a large ecotone (a transitional area between marine and terrestrial ecosystems).

Significance: Gujarat is the only abode for Indian wild ass which have been pulled out from the brink of extinction by years of efforts.

About Indian Wild Ass

Source: TOI

It is a sub-species of Asian Wild Ass.

Distribution: World’s last population of Indian WildAss is restricted to Rann of Kachchh, Gujarat.

Habitat: Desert and grassland ecosystems.

Conservation Status: a) IUCN: Near threatened, b) CITES: Appendix II, c) Wildlife Protection Act (1972): Schedule-I.

Characteristics: It is characterized by distinctive white markings on the anterior part of the rump and on the posterior part of the shoulder and a stripe down the back that is bordered by white.

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