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Location India, Gujarat
Central coordinates 68o 45.00' East  23o 30.00' North
IBA criteria A1
Area 50,000 ha
Altitude 0
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Bombay Natural History Society

Site description More than 50,000 ha area in Abdasa and Mundra talukas constitute one of the finest dry grasslands left in Gujarat. In 1992, a small portion (203 ha) was declared as a sanctuary for the Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps. The site gets high conservation value, not only due to the presence of this bustard but also species such as the Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica. The entire Sanctuary is dominated by a single habitat, i.e. grassland vegetation with sparse vegetation of bushy Zizyphus. However, in 1990-91, the Forest Department planted nearly 50 ha with Prosopis chilensis ostensibly to improve the bustard habitat. Thus almost 25% of the grassland habitat was destroyed. Beside the 209 ha Lala Bustard Sanctuary, the entire belt along the coast line is covered with grasslands and marginal crop fields, ideal for the Great Indian Bustard, Lesser Florican and other grassland species. Amongst the most important grassland sites are the Naliya-Vengaber-Parjau don (don=grassland) and the Konathia-Kalatalao-Bachunda don.

Key Biodiversity 

AVIFAUNA: This IBA is perhaps the only site in India where three species of bustards (Great Indian, Macqueen’s Bustard and Lesser Florican) are found, sometimes at the same time (late September). This site has the largest known Great Indian Bustard population in Gujarat - not less than 40 birds are found here. During the monsoon of 2001, 12 males were found displaying (R. D. Jadeja pers. comm. 2001). The largest known aggregation of endangered Lesser Florican breed here during the monsoon, and over 60 displaying males have been counted (Sankaran 2000a). In the nest year, when the monsoon was very good in this area and inadequate in other parts of Gujarat, about 120 Lesser Floricans were counted in this IBA (R. D. Jadeja pers. comm. 2001). Macqueen’s Bustard Chlamydotis macqueeni is also seen in winter. Sometimes early arrivals can be seen in the area while the Lesser Florican is still around. The Great Indian Bustard is resident so it is seen throughout the year. The Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarious is listed as Vulnerable by BirdLife International (2001) as it has a small population that has undergone a rapid reduction, for largely unknown reasons. It breeds just outside the Asian region, in the west-central Asian steppes, winters in northeast Africa, the Middle East and northern India. There are very few recent records from India. Two birds were seen in a ploughed field close to Lala Bustard Sanctuary in December 1999. Another threatened species found in this IBA is Stoliczka’s Bushchat Saxicola macrorhyncha (R. D. Jadeja pers. comm. 2002).

OTHER KEY FAUNA: The grasslands of Naliya and Lala Bustard Sanctuary have good populations of Chinkara Gazella bennettii. In some portions with good tree cover, Bluebull Boselaphus tragocamelus is found.

Golden Jackal Canis aureus, Indian Fox Vulpes bengalensis and Wolf Canis lupus are often seen. Hyena Hyaena hyaena is reported to be present in undulating areas, especially in the nearby Narayan Sarovar Chinkara Sanctuary.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca winter  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Great Indian Bustard Ardeotis nigriceps resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Lesser Florican Sypheotides indicus resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Sociable Lapwing Vanellus gregarius winter  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
White-browed Bushchat Saxicola macrorhynchus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

IBA Monitoring

2003 low not assessed not assessed
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Agriculture and aquaculture annual & perennial non-timber crops - agro-industry farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Agriculture and aquaculture livestock farming and ranching (includes forest grazing) - small-holder grazing, ranching or farming happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Invasive & other problematic species, genes & diseases invasive non-native/alien species/diseases - named species happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Residential and commercial development housing and urban areas happening now small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Lala Bustard Sanctuary Sanctuary 203 protected area contained by site 203  

Local conservation groups The local conservation group below is working to support conservation at this IBA.

Name Year formed
Naliya Grassland- Lala Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary [Centre for Desert and Ocean] 0


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland   -
Artificial - terrestrial   -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research -
Notes: Nature conservation and research
tourism/recreation -
Notes: Tourism and recreation
urban/industrial/transport -
Notes: Human settlements

Acknowledgements Key contributors: Asad R. Rahmani, Ravi Sankaran, Duleep Kathau, Justus Joshua and R. D. Jadeja.


BirdLife International (2001) Threatened Birds of Asia: The BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

Sankaran, R. (2000a) The status of the Lesser Florican Sypheotides indica in 1999. Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore. Unpublished.

Sankaran, R. (2000b) Survey of Western India to identify Important Bird Areas for the Lesser Florican and other grassland species, and to rationalize the boundaries of identified IBAs. Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History, Coimbatore, and Bombay Natural History Society, Mumbai. Pp. 11.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Naliya Grassland (Lala Bustard Wildlife Sanctuary). Downloaded from on 23/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife