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Species in news: Gharials

  • IASbaba
  • June 12, 2021
  • 0
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Species in news: Gharials

Part of: GS Prelims and  GS -III – Environment; Conservation 

In news

  • Recently, Odisha announced a cash award of Rs. 1,000 to conserve gharials in Mahanadi River Basin.

About Gharials

  • Gharials (or gavials) are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts.
    • Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and more.
  • India has three species of Crocodilians namely:
    • Gharial: IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
    • Mugger crocodile: IUCN- Vulnerable.
    • Saltwater crocodile: IUCN- Least Concern.
  • All the three are listed on Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • However, Saltwater Crocodile populations of Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are included in Appendix II of CITES.
  • Habitats include: Fresh waters of the northern India – Chambal river, Ghagra, Gandak river and the Sone river (Bihar).
  • Population of Gharials is a good indicator of clean river water.
  • Conservation Efforts:
    • Breeding Centres of Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, National Chambal Sanctuary (Gharial Eco Park, Madhya Pradesh).

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