Species in news: Gharials

  • IASbaba
  • January 17, 2022
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Species in news: Gharials

Part of: Prelims and GS-III Biodiversity

Context: The Assam government has issued notification to make Orang National Park more than thrice its existing size and has planned to reintroduce Gharials into the expanded area.

About Gharials

  • Gharials 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).

Orang National Park

  • It is located in Assam.
  • It is on the northern bank of the Brahmaputra River, and is strategic to the Kaziranga Orang Riverine Landscape.
  • It was recognised as a tiger reserve in 2016 and is often called ‘Mini Kaziranga’ 
  • It is known for the one-horned rhino, tigers, elephants, wild boars, pygmy hogs, and a variety of fish, among a host of other flora and fauna species. 
  • Other national parks in Assam: Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri, Dibru-Saikhowa, Raimona and Dehing Patkai.

News Source: TH

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