Friday Jul 1, 2022
Friday Jul 1, 2022

Nepal's efforts in conservation of Gharial crocodiles

Chitwan National Park has been putting in commendable efforts for preservation of gharial crocodiles.


Nepalnews
2022 Jan 14, 15:49, Chitwan
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

The Ghadiyal crocodiles, counted among one of the rarest crocodile species in the world, are being preserved in Nepal. At present, the conservation efforts of crocodiles are satisfactory, according to experts. There are about 250 crocodiles in Nepal at present, crocodile expert Bed Bahadur Khadka informed Nepalnews.

Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

In 1950, there were only about 240 Ghadiyal crocodiles in Nepal. The increase in their number is considered satisfactory now. Currently, most of the crocodiles in Nepal are found in Chitwan National Park. In the 1970s, there were less than 60 of them in Chitwan which has grown to 240 at the present.

Earlier, in the census of crocodiles conducted in 2016, 198 species of crocodiles were found in Nepal. Similarly, it is estimated that there are about 50 Ghadiyal crocodile eggs in Nepal at present.

Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

Crocodiles are found in the Narayani, Rapti, Karnali, and Babai rivers of Nepal. Earlier, crocodiles were also found in rivers like Koshi and Kaligandaki.

The number of crocodiles is decreasing in the world, limited to around just 2,000. In India, there are about 1,500 crocodiles and about 550 crocodile eggs.

Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

Earlier, crocodiles were also found in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Currently, crocodiles can only be seen at zoos in Bhutan and Bangladesh.

Large canals and dams are also affecting their habitats. Earlier, crocodiles used to migrate safely but the case is different at the present.

Due to the exploitation and pollution of rivers in Nepal, crocodiles are protected only in National parks and Wildlife reserves. Experts say that stones and ballast sand are being extracted in National parks in a systematic manner, so the animals have not been affected.

Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

Humans have destroyed much of the crocodile's habitat. The crocodile population outside national parks is declining due to river pollution and exploitation.

The crocodile lays eggs on sand, but due to the extraction of stones, ballast, and sand, the reproduction cycle and egg hatching process are being hindered. Similarly, lack of fish, which is the main food of crocodiles, is also considered the reason for their declining numbers.

Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

From time to time, the Chitwan National Park has raised crocodiles and released them in the river. The crocodile's eggs are cooled in the sand, taken care of, and released into the river in about five years.

The crocodile breeding and conservation center was established 43 years ago in Kasara of Chitwan National Park. It is said that the number of crocodiles is increasing as they are being released in the river after breeding at the center. About a month ago, 12 crocodiles were taken to the Narayani river and released, but soon, 100 more crocodiles will be released in the same river.

Crocodile expert Bed Bahadur Khadka has been working at the Ghadiyal Breeding and Conservation Center for the past 18 years.
Crocodile expert Bed Bahadur Khadka has been working at the Ghadiyal Breeding and Conservation Center for the past 18 years.

Bed Bahadur Khadka, a crocodile expert who has been working at the Ghadiyal Breeding and Conservation Center for the past 18 years, said that the center used to bring Ghadiyal eggs from the Narayani River, raise them, and release them into rivers when they grew.

There are no artificial incubators there. The eggs are hatched naturally in the sand. But for that, the employees do the monitoring. In this process, children are fed small fish. Occasionally molds are found on their teeth. Potassium is used to clean the teeth of baby gharials just like a human brush.

Ghadiyal's habitat used to be outside the National parks and Wildlife reserves. If such places could be re-arranged for the crocodile's habitat, their number would definitely increase. It seems necessary to give priority to this type of conservation work. For such, the commitment of the locals, as well as all concerned, is considered the most necessary.

Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka
Photo source: Bedbahadur Khadka

READ ALSO:

Ghadiyal Habitat crocodile Chitwan National Park Wildlife reserves gharial extraction River Banks Narayani Rapti
Nepal's First Online News Portal
Published by Nepalnews Pvt Ltd
Editor: Raju Silwal
Information Department Registration No. 1505 / 076-77

Contact

KMC-02, UttarDhoka,
Lazimpat, Nepal

Newsroom
+977–01–4445751 / 4445754

E-mail
[email protected] [email protected]

Terms of Use Disclaimer
© NepalNews. 2021 All rights reserved. | Nepal's First News Portal