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Gharial conservation efforts in Odisha

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    21st Jun, 2021

The Mahanandi Wildlife Division in Odisha initiated an effort of state government to conserve Gharials in Mahanadi river basin.

Context

The Mahanandi Wildlife Division in Odisha initiated an effort of state government to conserve Gharials in Mahanadi river basin.

  • The rewards will be given for rescuing gharials, a critically endangered crocodile species.

About

About the Gharial and its conservation

Basic Information

  • Gharials are large and shy reptiles.
  • Gharials thrive on small fish.
  • Their prey base was eroding due to over-fishing by local fisherfolk.
  • Gharial prefers deep fast flowing rivers.
  • Sand and rock outcrops are preferred basking sites and these animals show considerable site fidelity.

Mahanadi Wildlife Division

  • It was created in 1999 by the Government of Orissa.
  • The whole division is a part of Satkosia Tiger Reserve.

Fauna: Tiger, Leopard, Striped hyena, Wild dog, Indian Wolf, Sloth bear, Sambar, Civet Cat, Fishing cat, Leopard cat, Chousingha, Flying Squirrel, Wild boar, Gaur migratory population of Elephants, Gharial and Mugger crocodile in the Mahanadi River, hornbills, Hill mynas, Brahamany ducks and different varieties of both resident and migratory birds. 

Conservation Status

  • It is listed in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972and as Critically Endangered on IUCN Red list.

Threats: 

  • Their habitat is threatened because of human encroachment and fishing activities.
  • They are genetically weaker than salt water crocodiles and muggers.
  • Gharials caught accidentally in fishing nets.
Mahanadi River
  • The Mahanadi is a major river in East Central India.
  • Mahanadi was called the sorrow of odisha but the Hirakud Dam has changed the situation of flood.
  • The river flows through the states of Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
  • Tributaries
    • Left: Seonath, Mand, Ib, Hasdeo
    • Right: Ong, parry, Jonk, Telen
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