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Location India, Gujarat
Central coordinates 69o 52.00' East  24o 0.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A4iii
Area 750,722 ha
Altitude 15 - 438m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society



Site description 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).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Dalmatian Pelican Pelecanus crispus winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Greater Spotted Eagle Clanga clanga winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Indian Skimmer Rynchops albicollis non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
A4iii Species group - waterbirds breeding  2004  70,000 individuals  good  A4iii   

Habitats

IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest   -
Wetlands (inland)   -
Desert   -
Shrubland   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
military -
Notes: Army
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Human habitation

Acknowledgements Key contributor: H. S. Singh.

References 

Ali, S. (1945) More about the Flamingo [Phoenicopterus ruber roseus (Pallas)] in Kutch. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 45: 586-593.

Ali, S. (1960) Flamingo city revisited: Nesting of the Rosy Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus Lanneus) in the Rann of Kutch. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 57: 412-415.

McCann, C. (1939) The Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber antiquorum Temm.). J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 41: 12-38.

Ranjitsinh, M. K. (1985) An “island’ Sanctuary in Kutch. J. Bombay Nat. His. Soc. 82: 180-182.

Rao, K. (1909) The Lesser Flamingo (Phoenicopterus minor) in Cutch. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 19: 262.

Shivrajkumar, Naik, R. M. and Lavkumar, K. S. (1960) A visit to the Flamingo city in the Great Rann of Kutch. J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 57: 465-478.

Singh, H. S. (1998) Wildlife of Gujarat, Gujarat Ecological Education and Research (GEER) Foundation, Gandhinagar. Pp. 123.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2014) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Flamingo City. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 31/07/2014

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