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Gharials In Mahanadi River Basin

Odisha Announced A Cash Award Of Rs. 1,000 To Conserve Gharials In Mahanadi River Basin.:

Gharials, sometimes called 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 (Gavialis gangeticus): IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
    • Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris): IUCN- Vulnerable.
    • Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus): IUCN- Least Concern.
  • All the three are listed on Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Exception: Saltwater Crocodile populations of Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea are included in Appendix II of CITES.
  • Habitat of Gharials:
    • Natural Habitat: Freshwaters of the northern part of India.
    • Primary Habitat: Chambal river (a tributary of Yamuna).
    • Secondary Habitat: Ghagra, Gandak River, Girwa river (Uttar Pradesh), the Ramganga river (Uttarakhand) and the Sone river (Bihar).
  • Significance: The population of Gharials are 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).
  • Threats:
    • Increased river pollution, dam construction, massive-scale fishing operations and floods.
      Illegal sand mining and poaching.

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