Envis Centre, Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India

Printed Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Indian Wild Ass makes a comeback in Rajasthan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new chapter is unfolding in the natural sphere of the state. After probably over a hundred years, a species that was once found in abundance in the dry plains of the state, the Wild Indian Ass is making a comeback. 

 

 

Although less in numbers at present, a little push from the forest department could go a long way in boosting their numbers and allowing them to thrive again. Efforts have been made for its revival here, but officials believe that large-scale plans need to be drawn and put on the ground. 

 

 

The Indian Wild Ass, found in large groups in the Rann of Kutch, was once present in the desert swathes of Rajasthan and particularly in the salty and rocky plains of the state's Marwar region. And this is where a few of them are being seen for the past several months. 

 

 

"According to well-documented historical accounts of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Wild Asses were seen in that time all the way till Haryana. With indiscriminate hunting, and loss of habitat, the number dwindled rapidly, so much so, that by the time the British Raj ended, their major stronghold remained the salty Rann, which could offer protection as it is hard for humans to live there," said Rajpal Singh, a member of NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority). 

 

 

In 2016, a group of officials touring Jalor district came across a handful of these animals and on questioning the villagers, learnt that though these were only recently seen in the area, their sighting has been fairly common since. 

 

 

"It was then decided that proper conservation efforts must be made for the animals, which are trying to make another stronghold on their own. Nature is carrying on its course and if we can provide a little push, then we must," said Raghuvir Singh Shekhawat, retired IFS. Singh was Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF) of Jodhpur division when the discovery was made and he set out to fulfil the basic necessities of these animals. 

 

 

"The discovery was made in Rankhar area near Sanchore town in Jalore district. We decided to build water reservoirs for them, along with check posts and posted officials while drawing a proper plan for the activities to be carried out by officials to monitor their movements," he said. "Rajasthan would be the second state where Wild Asses could be found if appropriate efforts are made. The department should draw and execute long-term plans to that effect," Singh added. 

 

 

 

Driven Away, Killed By Humans 

 

 

 

“According to well-documented historical accounts of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Wild Asses were seen in that time all the way till Haryana. With indiscriminate hunting, and loss of habitat, the number dwindled rapidly, so much so, that by the time the British Raj ended, their major stronghold remained the salty Rann, which could offer protection as it is hard for humans to live there,” said Rajpal Singh, a member of NTCA (National Tiger Conservation Authority)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: https://www.dnaindia.com/jaipur/report-indian-wild-ass-makes-a-comeback-in-rajasthan-2700802