Gharials

JUN 10

Preliminary   > Environment and Ecology   >   Species extinction & protection   >   Species in news

Why in news?

  • The Mahanadi Wildlife Division in Odisha announced June 10 a cash reward of Rs 1,000 for rescuing gharials, a critically endangered crocodile species, and informing wildlife personnel.

About Gharials:

  • Gharials are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts.
  • They live in clear freshwater river systems.
  • Once found from Pakistan to Myanmar, the reptile's range has shrunk to two countries:
    • India: along the Chambal, Girwa and Son Rivers
    • Nepal: along the Narayani River
  • The IUCN classifies the species as critically endangered. The Indian government has granted the species full protection by listing it in Schedule I of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • National Chambal Sanctuary along the river Chambal in Madhya Pradesh is the longest protected area of the species.

Mahanadi River

  • The Mahanadi is a major river in East Central India.
  • It drains an area of around 141,600 square kilometres and has a total course of 858 kilometres.
  • Mahanadi is also known for the Hirakud Dam.
  • Seonath, Mand, Hasdeo and Ong are some of the main tributaries of the river

Prelims Question:

Consider the following statements regarding Gharials:
1.They are endemic to the Indian Subcontinent.
2.They are classified as Critically endangered in the IUCN list
Choose the correct statements from the codes given below:
(a)1 only
(b)2 only
(c)Both 1 and 2
(d)Neither 1 nor 2

Answer to Prelims question