Anthropogenic threats like illegal fishing and sand mining pose a threat to the mugger crocodiles (Crocodylus plaustris) of the Rapti river flowing along the Chitwan National Park (CNP) in south-central Nepal, contiguous to the Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar.
- The mugger or marsh crocodile is one of the 24 extant species of crocodilians found globally. It is found India, Pakistan, Nepal and Iran.
- CITES-Appendix I
- In Nepal, muggers are found in the Terai lowlands near the border with India.
- The mugger is mainly a freshwater species, and found in lakes, rivers and marshes.
- The Rapti originates in the Mahabharat Hills and lower range of the Himalayas and flows westward along the northern border of the CNP.
- The surveys were conducted along a 52 km river stretch from Jindagani Ghat (the eastern side) to Golaghat (Rapti-Narayani confluence) on the western side.
Back to Basics
- India is home to three crocodilian species:
- The mugger or marsh crocodile (Crocodylus palustris)
- The estuarine or saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus)
- The gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)
- The mugger is the most widespread, found in other South Asian countries too.
- The gharial is found mostly in Himalayan rivers.
- The estuarine crocodile is found in Odisha’s Bhitarkanika National Park, the Sundarbans in West Bengal and the Andamans and Nicobar Islands.
- It is also found across Southeast Asia and northern Australia.
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