Friday, February 29, 2008

India has 1645 Gharials

Breeding of Gharials in captivity has been successfully standardized and as and when required, captive bred Gharials are released in wild also. As per the last census conducted in 2007, the estimated number of Gharials in various Sanctuaries has been about 1645.

Around 105 Gharials have been reported dead during the period between 8.12.2007 and 21.2.2008. No particular reason could be attributed to this mortality of Gharials. However, possibility of nephro-toxin entering via the food-chain could not be ruled out.

The Government has taken steps to check the Gharial mortality which are as follows:

(i) The Ministry of Environment & Forests has constituted a Crisis Management Group to coordinate the efforts to control Ghariyal mortality.

(ii) Expertise of international experts has been obtained for the investigation purpose. Tissues/Blood samples have been sent for laboratory investigations.

(iii) Immediate financial assistance to the tune of Rs. 12. 08 lakhs has been provided to the State of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh for mitigation of Gharial mortality apart from grant of Rs. 27.295 lakhs for the National Chambal Gharial Sanctuary, for the year 2007-08.

(iv) All efforts have been made by the State Governments to stop illegal sand mining thus avoiding any damage to the habitat of Gharials. Further, inter-state collaboration amongst the States of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh are taken up for conservation & management of Gharials and their habitats.

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