[Species in News] Gharials

Context

  • As per former wildlife researcher in Odisha forest department only 14 gharials were spotted at Satkosia gorgein Odisha in 2019. June 17 is observed annually as the World Crocodile Day.

About Gharials

  • Gharials are found only in India and Nepal.
  • It is a river dwelling fish-eater, usually harmlessto humans.
  • The gharial is found mostly in Himalayan rivers.
  • Inhabitation range:Ganga, Mahanadi, Girwa, Son River, Chambal, Ken, Ramganga River.
  • Protected areas:National Chambal Sanctuary and Katerniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary.
  • They once inhabited all the major river systems of the Indian Subcontinent, from the Irrawaddy River in the east to the Indus River in the west.
  • But, their distribution is now limited to only 2% of their former range.
  • IUCN status:Critically Endangered.

India is home to three crocodilian species:

1.The mugger or marsh crocodile

2.The estuarine or saltwater crocodile

3.The gharial