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Indian Gharial in Kaziranga: Conservation Efforts



  Feb 27, 2024

Indian Gharial in Kaziranga



What is the Indian Gharial

The Indian Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) is a critically endangered crocodilian species native to the Indian subcontinent. It is distinguished by its long, narrow snout and inhabits riverine environments.

Why is the Indian Gharial important

The Indian Gharial plays a crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance of riverine ecosystems. As a top predator, it helps control the populations of fish and other aquatic species, contributing to the overall health of its habitat.

Where was the Indian Gharial recently spotted

After a gap of 75 years, the presence of the Indian Gharial has been confirmed in the Greater Kaziranga region, specifically along a 160-km stretch of the Brahmaputra River.

What led to the rediscovery of the Indian Gharial in Kaziranga

A survey conducted by the Biswanath Wildlife Division and TSA Foundation India from January 16 to 25, covering the Brahmaputra from Majuli to Koliabhomora bridge near Tezpur, confirmed the presence of the Indian Gharial.

What does this discovery signify

The rediscovery of the Indian Gharial in Kaziranga is a positive sign that conservation efforts are effective and provides hope for the restoration and protection of this critically endangered species in its natural habitat.

How many Gharials were found during the survey

The survey recorded the presence of more than 900 freshwater turtles across five species and one female gharial in the surveyed area.

What conservation status does the Indian Gharial hold

The Indian Gharial is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red Data List and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, indicating its high risk of extinction in the wild.

What are the conservation efforts for the Indian Gharial

Conservation efforts include habitat protection, anti-poaching measures, and research initiatives aimed at understanding habitat requirements and threats to the species. The confirmation of the Gharial in Kaziranga underscores the importance of these efforts and the potential for species recovery.

What other wildlife was noted during the survey

In addition to the Gharial, opportunistic sightings of Gangetic river dolphins and otters were recorded, indicating the rich biodiversity of the aquatic ecosystem in the Kaziranga region.

What makes Kaziranga a suitable habitat for the Indian Gharial

Kaziranga boasts over 42 species of freshwater fishes, providing an abundant food source for the Gharial. The habitat suitability assessments, considering factors like river depth, flow, vegetation cover, and nesting sites, also support its viability as a long-term habitat for Gharials.


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