IN166
Ozar and adjoining grassland


Country/territory: India

IBA Criteria met: A1 (2004)
For more information about IBA criteria please click here

Area: 20,000 ha

Bombay Natural History Society
Most recent IBA monitoring assessment
Year of assessment Threat score (pressure) Condition score (state) Action score (response)
2003 low not assessed not assessed
For more information about IBA monitoring please click here


Site description
Ozar (=Hosur), Wani and adjoining grasslands in the dry district of Nashik shot into the limelight in the late 1990s when small populations of the endangered Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps and Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica were discovered (Raha and Prakesh 2001a,b). These birds are seen in the 1,430 ha fenced grassland of Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) complex, c. 20 km from Nashik. Most of this complex is undulating to flat grassland, except for a small area occupied by the office, runway and factory. The HAL complex is mainly used to repair military aircraft, which are test flown from a runway that almost bisects the grassland. The bustards are quite safe inside the HAL complex, but they also move out and use a much larger area of about 3,000 ha of similar grasslands and crop fields. Most of the low-lying areas are under cultivation, but the plateaus are covered with short grasses, very conducive for the bustard. Heteropogon contortus, Cymbopogon martinii, and Cynodon dactylon are the common grass species in this area. Among the trees and shrubs, Acacia sp., Santalum album, and Dalbergia sissoo are found.

Key biodiversity

AVIFAUNA: The Great Indian Bustard and the Lesser Florican were recently reported from this area by Raha and Prakash (2001a, b). The bustard breeds regularly in the HAL complex, with at least one traditional display territory of an adult male. Sometimes up to three adult males have been seen displaying in this area. The total adult population could be 10-12 adult birds. The Lesser Florican is seen during monsoon, and breeds in some years. Only displaying males have been sighted, but no nest has been located till now. Considering the extent of the grasslands, and occasional sighting of females, they must be breeding here. The Lesser Florican was recorded as common, and probably present throughout the year in Nashik and Ahmednagar districts during the 19th century (Hume and Marshal 1879). There were very few confirmed sightings of Lesser Florican in Maharashtra during the 1980s (Sankaran et al. 1992), and none from Nashik district. Since their discovery as breeding birds in Ozar grasslands in 1998, they have been seen regularly in this IBA (B. Raha pers. comm. 2003). The grassland is rich in avifauna with more than 200 species identified till now (B. Raha pers. comm. 2003). Stone Curlew Burhinus oedicnemus is also found breeding in this area.

OTHER KEY FAUNA: Detailed study on the fauna of this area has not been done. In 2003, a male bustard was killed by wolves (B. Raha pers. comm. 2003).

Acknowledgements
Key contributor: B. Raha.


Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2021) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Ozar and adjoining grassland. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 28/11/2021.