Environment and Ecology > Protected Area Networks > Protected Area
Why in news?
- The National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered all encroachments to be removed from Gujarat's Banni grasslands within six months and directed a joint committe to prepare an action plan in a month.
- The region's nomadic pastoralist community, the Maldharis, whose livelihoods are depend on this protected shrub-savanna, welcomed the move.
About Banni Grasslands
- Banni Grasslands Reserve or Banni grasslands form a belt of arid grassland ecosystem on the outer southern edge of the desert of the marshy salt flats of Rann of Kutch in Kutch District, Gujarat.
- They are currently legally protected under the status as a protected or reserve forest.
- Wildlife Institute of India(WII) has identified this grassland reserve as one of the last remaining habitats of the cheetah in India and a possible reintroduction site for the species.
- Banni grassland is peculiar to the Rann of Kutch, it has some forty Sindhi speaking Maldhari (cattle breeders) hamlets, home to the Halaypotra, Hingora, Hingorja, Jat and Mutwa tribes .
- Important wildlife includes; nilgai ,chinkara, blackbuck , wild boar , golden jackal , Indian hare , Indian wolf , caracal, Asiatic wildcat ,desert fox , Indian wild ass etc.
Threats to grassland ecosystem:
- The Banni grasslands are under pressure due to man-made factors which are overgrazing, invasion by Prosopis juliflora, an exotic thorny tree, and natural factors which are recurring droughts and salinity ingress.
- Maldharis are a tribal herdsmen community in Gujarat, India.
- "Maldhari" is an occupational term which refers to people from a variety of castes and communities.
- They are mainly a pastoral community and their sources of cash income are sale of high-quality ghee, milk, wool, animals and handicrafts.
Banni Grasslands are located in:
Answer to prelims question