Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park UPSC (Marine National Park in Gujarat UPSC)

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is a protected marine area located in the Gulf of Kutch, along the western coast of India. It is the first Marine National Park in India. It is known for its diverse marine ecosystem and rich biodiversity. 


The park is home to a wide range of marine life, including corals, sponges, jellyfish, sea anemones, mollusks, crustaceans, and a variety of fish species. It also serves as an important nesting and breeding site for various marine turtles.


One of the main attractions of the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the presence of the endangered dugong, also known as the sea cow. The park provides a crucial habitat for these gentle creatures, and efforts are being made to protect and conserve their population.


Visitors to the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park can explore its diverse marine life through activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, and boat rides. The park offers opportunities for nature enthusiasts, researchers, and tourists to observe and study the unique marine ecosystem.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

Table of Contents

  • Location
  • History
  • Area
  • River
  • Flora
  • Fauna
  • Kharai Camel
  • UPSC Questions


Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Location

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is located in the Gulf of Kutch, along the western coast of India. It is situated in the state of Gujarat, specifically in the Jamnagar district. It is situated on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kutch. The nearest major city to the park is Jamnagar, which is approximately 45 kilometers away.


The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is located in the intertidal zone. The intertidal zone is the area above water level at low tide and underwater at high tide. Intertidal zone is also known as the foreshore.


Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Nearest Airport:

The nearest airport to the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the Jamnagar Airport. It is located in Jamnagar, Gujarat, which is approximately 7 kilometers away from the park. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a private vehicle to reach the marine park.


Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Nearest Railway Station:

The nearest railway station to the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the Jamnagar Railway Station, which is about 7 kilometers away from the park. From the railway station, you can hire a taxi or take a local bus to reach the marine park.
Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park



Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park History

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park has a rich history and significance in the conservation and protection of marine biodiversity. Here's a brief overview of its history:


1. Establishment as a Marine Sanctuary: In 1980, recognizing the ecological significance of the Gulf of Kutch, an area of 270 square kilometers from Okha to Jodiya was designated as a Marine Sanctuary. This initial step marked the beginning of conservation efforts to protect the marine ecosystem in the region.


2. Declaration as a Marine National Park: In 1982, a core area of 110 square kilometers within the Marine Sanctuary was further designated as the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park. It is the first Marine National Park in India. This declaration was made under the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 of India. The establishment of the Marine National Park aimed to provide enhanced protection to the unique marine biodiversity found in the Gulf of Kutch.


3. Conservation Objectives: The primary objective of establishing the Marine National Park was to safeguard the diverse marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Kutch. By designating it as a protected area, efforts were made to conserve and preserve the rich biodiversity, including corals, marine fauna, and their habitats within the park's boundaries.




Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Area

An area of 270 km2 from Okha to Jodiya was declared Marine Sanctuary in 1980. In 1982, a core area of 110 km2 was declared Marine National Park.


Currently, Gulf of Kachchh Marine National Park covers an area of 162.89 square kilometers, which includes 42 islands and the surrounding sea. 33 out of 42 island are bordered by coral reefs. Some of the major islands in the park include Pirotan Island, Narala Island, and Karubhar Island. 


The islands in the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park vary in size, with the largest being Pirotan Island, which covers an area of approximately 3 square kilometers. Pirotan Island is also known as Pirotan Marine Park. The smallest islands are mere rock formations that are only visible during low tide.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park



Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park River

The Gulf of Kachchh Marine National Park is located along the Gulf of Kachchh, which is a large, shallow inlet of the Arabian Sea on the western coast of India, in the state of Gujarat. There are several rivers that flow into the Gulf of Kachchh.


Sang River:

The Sang river passes through Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park. It is drains through Anjar taluka of Kutch, Gujarat. It rises from the hills behind a small village named Sinugra near Anjar. The total length of the Sang river is 29 km. The Sang river drains into the Arabian Sea at Nakti Creek in the Gulf of Kutch.




Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Flora

The Gulf of Kachchh Marine National Park is home to a diverse range of flora, both terrestrial and marine. The park's unique topography, which includes mudflats, creeks, and mangrove forests, supports a variety of plant species.


(1) Mangroves:

The mangrove forests in the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park are particularly important, as they help stabilize the coastline, prevent erosion, and provide a nursery for several species of marine animals. Some of the mangrove species found in the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park include Avicennia marina, Rhizophora mucronata, and Ceriops decandra. 


The area under mangrove cover along the Gujarat coast is the second-largest (next to the Sunderbans) along the Indian coast, and the Gulf of Kutch accounts for 93% of Gujarat mangroves.


(2) Coral Reefs:

Some of the finest coral reef fringe islands are found at Pirotan, Narala, Ajad and Positara island of Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park.


(3) Saline Grasslands:

Other plant species found in the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park include salt-tolerant grasses, herbs, and shrubs, such as the glasswort plant (Salicornia brachiata), which is an important source of food for several bird species.


(4) Algae and Seagrass:

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Parkk's marine area is also home to a variety of algae and seagrass species, which play an important role in the marine ecosystem by providing food and habitat for several species of fish, sea turtles, and other marine animals. Some of the common seagrass species found in the Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park include Halophila ovalis and Halodule uninervis.

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park



Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Fauna (Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park Animals)

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is home to a diverse range of fauna, both marine and terrestrial. The park is a important breeding and feeding ground for several species of marine animals.


Some of the common marine animals found in the park include several species of dolphins, whales, sea turtles, and fish. 


The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is also home to several species of crabs, shrimp, and other invertebrates, which play an important role in the marine ecosystem of Gulf of Kutch.


One of the most notable marine animals found in the park is the Dugong, also known as the "sea cow." The dugong is a herbivorous marine mammal and the park is one of the few remaining habitats where this species can be found.


Animals that can be found in Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park:

  • Sea anemones
  • Jellyfishes
  • Sea horse
  • Octopus
  • Pearl oyster
  • Sabela
  • Starfish
  • Bonellia
  • Sepia
  • Lobster
  • Crabs
  • Prawns
  • Sea turtles
  • Dolphin
  • Dugong
  • Porpoise
  • Shark

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park



Kharai Camel

The Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is also home to the Kharai camel, a unique breed of camel that is adapted to the saline conditions of the area.


The Kharai camel, also known as the "Gulf of Kutch camel," is a unique breed of camel that is specifically adapted to thrive in the harsh coastal regions of the Gulf of Kutch in Gujarat, India. It is well-known for its ability to tolerate saline water and graze on the saline vegetation found in the coastal areas.


Here are some key features and characteristics of the Kharai camel:


1. Adaptation to Saline Environment: The Kharai camel has developed specialized physiological adaptations that enable it to survive in regions with high salinity. It has the ability to drink and digest saline water, which is abundant in the coastal areas. This adaptation makes it well-suited for coastal grazing and brackish water habitats.


2. Grazing and Diet: The primary diet of the Kharai camel consists of various saline-tolerant plants and shrubs that grow in the coastal regions. It feeds on mangroves, saltbushes, and other salt-tolerant vegetation found along the seashore. This unique diet allows the camel to sustain itself in an environment that is unsuitable for many other livestock species.


3. Swimming and Coastal Mobility: The Kharai camel is known for its exceptional swimming ability. It can traverse through shallow coastal waters, rivers, and marshes in search of food and grazing areas. This mobility allows it to access grazing resources that are not easily accessible to other livestock.


4. Socio-cultural Importance: The Kharai camel holds significant cultural and socio-economic importance for the communities living in the coastal regions of the Gulf of Kutch. It has been traditionally used for transportation, milk production, and as a source of livelihood for local herders. The breed's resilience and adaptability to the coastal environment have made it an integral part of the local culture and heritage.




Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park UPSC Questions

Q. Where is India’s first marine park located?

A. Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is located on the southern shore of the Gulf of Kutch in the Jamnagar district of Gujarat, India.


Q. When was Marine National Park Gulf of Kutch establishment?

A. Marine National Park Gulf of Kutch was established in 1982.


Q. Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park famous for?

A. Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is famous for Mangroves, Coral reefs, seagrass, seaweeds, saline grasslands etc.


Q. Which is the First Marine National Park of India?

A. Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park is the First Marine National Park of India.


Q. What is the name of the National Park in the Gulf of Kutch?

A. Name of the national park in the Gulf of Kutch is Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park.


Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park

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