Our Neighborhood's Biodiversity Map

* Please click the continent to see the endangered species of our neighborhood.
Asia
Indian Gharial Crocodile Digon3 * To See the original image, please click the image
Shared by : Bindu Bhandari (Nepal)
Region : Indian Subcontinent, Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar
Status : Critically Endangered
Introduction
Gharial (Gavialis gageticus) is one of the two species of crocodiles found in Nepal also known as fish eating crocodile. It is the only surviving member of Gavialidae Family. Its name has been derived from the large, cartilaginous protuberance on the end of the adult male’s snout resembling to a 'Ghara' or earthenware pot common in Nepal and India. It is protected under Appendix-I of CITES and listed "critically endangered species "in 2007 IUCN Red List. Nepal has declared it as protected animal under National park and Wildlife conservation Act 1973.
Occurrence
Gharial once was abundant in all the major river systems of the Indian Subcontinent (Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Pakistan) but now limited within four Tributaries of the Ganges River: The Girwa, Son and Chambal Rivers in India and the Rapti- Narayani River in Nepal.

It is characterized by extremely long thin jaws and dark or light olive in color above with dark cross-bands and speckling on the head, body and tail.
The average size of mature gharials is 3.5 to 4.5 m (11 to 15 ft) and average weight of 159- 181 kg.
The elongated, narrow snout is lined by 110 sharp interdigitated teeth, 27 to 29 upper and 25 or 26 lower teeth on each side.
The breeding life of Gharial is considered to be 50 years and the life span 100 years.
The Gharial is unique as it is the only crocodilian which is sexually dimorphic.
Threats
• Illegal poaching for characteristic long jaw of male Gharial and eggs for medicinal values
• Construction of dams for hydroelectric power and irrigation that create abnormally high water during the monsoon which floods practically all nests near the dams
• Use of nets by local fisherman makes Gharial unable to open its mouth and ultimately death
Efforts
• Gharial breeding centre was set up in Chitwan, Nepal in 1978 with the cooperation of Frankfurt Zoological Society
• Since 1981, the “Gharial Conservation Project” at Kasara in Chitwan National Park has begun a program for crocodile conservation. Gharial release were organized since 1981 in different rivers of Nepal
• Community Based Gharial Conservation Initiative in the Narayani River of Chitwan National Park (2012-2013): This one year project (2012-013) was supported by Cleveland Metroparks Zoo / Cleveland Zoological Society’s “Asia Seed Grants Program”, USA
• Gharial Conservation Initiative funded by Ocean Park Conservation Foundation, Hong Kong: Through Research and Community Interface in the Narayani River Basin of Chitwan National Park, Nepal (July 2013-June 2014)

Sources :
http://www.tsbcnepal.org.np
http://www.forestrynepal.org
Gharial Conservation in Nepal: A. Cadi , S. Martin , A. Barlow , L. Fougeirol and T. Maskey Maskey, T.M. and H.F. Percival, 1994: Status and conservation of Gharial in Nepal. Study of Investigation of Population, Habitat and Hatching Success of Gavialis gangeticus in Narayani River of Chitwan National Park: Rajbhandari 2015

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