Signs of Gharial revival in Hooghly; Breeding group identified at Purbasthali

Gangetic Gharial
Ramki Sreenivasan
Gharials are long snouted fresh water crocodiles. Unrestricted fishing and cultivation along the banks where they lay eggs are thought to be reasons for their mass decline.

In good news for the seriously threatened Gharial, better than thought before numbers of the reptiles have been counted in the Hooghly. The Gharial population has now been estimated to be around 250 in a 500 km stretch of the Hooghly from Farakka to Tribeni. The population is also apparently breeding, as new born members have also been spotted. The species was considered extinct in that region for about 60 years. The study was done by iRebel, an NGO that has been researching Gharial population.

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