Ecology: Learn how India’s critically endangered gharial reverted back from the brink of extinction

It is dusk in the rainy morning at Valmiki Nagar in the West Champaran district of the state of Bihar the rains are untimely it’s the end of February and especially disappointing for Dr. Samir Kumar Sinha and his associate soubrette Kumar Barrera conservationists at the Wildlife Trust of India no Sun would mean barely any chances of spotting any wildlife and surely no chances of finding what they’ve come to these vast plains.

Along the Gandhak River for the car yard the fish-eating long-snouted crocodilian endemic to the Indian subcontinent and listed as critically endangered globally there are three categories of crocodilians one is crocodile there is an alligator and the last one is gharial so Gharial is a single genus family which is known as Gavin ID the other two alligators and crocodiles alligators are not found in India but if in India there are two types of crocodiles one is mugger crocodile and other is a saltwater crocodile.

The gharial is it if you see the morphology of carrion it is different from the mugger or the saltwater crocodile it has a long snout and important thing is that radial is the only crocodilian having sexual dimorphism, sexual dimorphism means you can see an adult aerial and you can assess whether it is a male or a female so in mail carriers there is a big pot like structure on the snout on the tip of the snout which is called current so it is different from the other two crocodilians found in

India and other two crocodilians they do have a conflict with a human being but Korea doesn’t have any conflict with a human being a Himalayan tributary of the Ganges the Gandhak that descends into the Indian Plains at Valmiki Nagar from Nepal where it is called the Narayani it’s deep waters today hold the second largest population of Gharials in all its distribution range which includes India Nepal Bangladesh and parts of Bhutan but this wasn’t the story even till a few years ago the location of the gandhak along the Indo-Nepal boundary and then linking the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

It had been a hotbed for bandits and anti-social elements for the longest time making it impossible for its waters to be surveyed for wildlife around 2007 when the law and order situation improved and a survey was finally conducted it was discovered that only 200 surviving Corral’s remained in its entire distribution range prompting the IUCN to recognize the species as critically endangered gharials have been on the red list ever since a survey was undertaken in conduct River in 2010.
once ready for the wild the hatchlings are released back into the river apart from habitat alteration and poaching of adults poaching of eggs has also been one of the many reasons for declining numbers in many places.

local stakeout Gharial eggs and unknown to eat them last two last year we moved a proposal in the Bihar State Board for wildlife to notify a critical area of about 1 foot 140 kilometers of the river as a Conservation Reserve means giving it a status of a protected area one if you give it the status of conservation is it will involve locals in the conservation of carrion plus there won’t be any land you change in the river banks.

So, it is going to be a good step it is going to be long-term conservation you know activity conservation action for the radial population in the Gandhak River while the threat from the barrage still exists the WTI has opened up discussions with the state forests and irrigation departments the latter proposing to work with a safe limit of water release.

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