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Flamingo City lies in the Rann of Kutch, 10 km northeast of Nir at the tip of Pachchham Island south of Solanki Bet. The area is famous for the nesting of Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber. Maharao Khengarji was the first to confirm the breeding of Greater Flamingos in India (Shivrajkumar et al. 1960) and later confirmed that they breed in large numbers, in the so-called Flamingo City (Rao 1909). Later, Ali (1945) estimated a total population in the order of half a million birds in 1945. The Flamingo City is now a part of the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary (7,50,622 ha). The habitat of the Sanctuary is true saline desert in low-lying flats, with an average altitude of 15 cm above msl (Singh 1998). Kala-Dungar is the highest point (438 m) within the Sanctuary. The flat sterile land (called Rann) becomes submerged during the rainy season. Flamingos nest only when the water level is optimum (both due to good rainfall and ingress of sea water). Other habitats of this sprawling Sanctuary include the bets or islands supporting vegetation, seasonal waterbodies, saline-alkaline scrub, Prosopis scrubland, desert thorn scrub forest in the hilly region Kala-Dungar, and marsh vegetation (Singh 1998). Plant diversity is poor in this area. Salvadora persica, S. oleoides, Capparis aphylla, C. decidua, Commiphora wightii, Zizyphus sp., Acacia senegal, Balanites sp., Euphorbia sp., Prosopis spicigera, P. chilensis, Aeluropus logopoides, Suaeda sp. and Cressa cretica are the main species on bets and uplands (Singh 1998). The Rann is more or less devoid of vegetation. Interestingly, a small patch of mangroves is found, about 100 km inland, due to the saline water (Ranjitsinh 1985).
AVIFAUNA: This site (Flamingo City) has been selected as an IBA based on its importance as a breeding ground of the Greater Flamingo in India. Over 70,000 birds nest in an area of about 100 ha (H. S. Singh pers. comm. 2001). Besides the flamingoes, some globally threatened species are also reported. This is the only known site in India where the Rosy Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus has been found breeding (Ali 1960).
OTHER KEY FAUNA: The most famous mammal is the Indian Wild Ass Equus onager found mainly at the junction the Little Rann of Kutch. Other species include Chinkara Gazella bennettii, Grey Wolf Canis lupus, and Caracal Caracal caracal (Singh 1998). Bluebul Boselaphus tragocamelus, Wild Boar Sus scrofa, Striped hyena Hyaena hyaena, Desert Fox Vulpes vulpes, Civet Cat Paradoxurus hermaphroditus, Black-naped Hare Lepus nigricollis, Common Mongoose Herpestes edwardsi and Porcupine Hystrix indica are also found in suitable habitats.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Flamingo City. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 09/07/2020.