• Tilapia fish may have killed gharials in Chambal

    Tilapia fish may have killed gharials in Chambal

    scientists seem to have come to a conclusion on what could have killed more than 100 gharials in Chambal waters recently. Tilapia, an invasive fish could have caused the deaths along the Uttar

  • Crowd and effect

    For a species classified as critically endangered, Gavialis gangeticus, or the gharial, has had it good over the years at Patna zoo. From just 11 in 2002, there are now over 130 gharials in the zoo, officially called the Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park. And the number is only set to grow.

  • Wildlife under threat

    Besides poaching, loss of habitat, toxins cause deaths It is not just India's national animal tiger which is in danger at the hands of poachers in the country. Officials figures suggest that the future of other animals in the wild - elephants, rhinos and critically-endangered gharials - is also not so safe despite efforts being put in by the Centre and state governments. Between December 2007 and February 2008, as many as 105 gharials have been reported dead. However, the reason for the decline in their numbers is attributed to possibility of nephro-toxin entering the food chain and loss of habitat due to illegal sand mining. Official records reveal that in the past three years, the number of poaching cases related to elephants has been steadily rising. During 2004-05, 18 elephants were poached, during 2005-06, the number of dead tuskers was 16 and in 2006-07, it increased up to 23. The 2007 Census said there are 18,663 elephants in the country, minus the Northeastern states. Similar has been the case with rhinos. As per the information released by the Assam Government, 18 rhinos were poached in 2007 and four rhinos have already fallen prey to the poachers' greed till date in 2008 in the Kaziranga National Park and adjacent areas in Assam. Regarding the critically endangered gharials, the MoEF said that as per the last Census in 2007, the number of gharials in National Chambal Sanctuary is 1457, Son Gharial Sanctuary 106, Ken Gharial Sanctuary 12 and Katerniaghat Sanctuary 70 to 80. About 105 gharials have been reported dead between December 2007 and February 2008. While no particular reason can be attributed to their mortality, the possibility of nephro-toxin entering via the food-chain cannot be ruled out, officials say, adding that another reason has been the loss of habitat due to illegal sand mining. The Central Government has taken several initiatives, including constitution of multidisciplinary Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) comprising officers from the police, forest, customs and other enforcement agencies to effectively control illegal trade in wildlife. The government is also providing financial and technical assistance to state governments under the various Centrally sponsored schemes - Development of National Parks and Sanctuaries, Project Tiger and Project Elephant. State governments too claim to be taking measures, including increase in patrolling and coordination with other law enforcing agencies, which clearly are not enough. And it is not just poaching that wild animals are at risk with. As per information available, four tigers and 21 elephants were killed due to train and road accidents during the past three years in the 514 wildlife sanctuaries in the country.

  • Clueless in Chambal

    Clueless in Chambal

    the mystery of gharial deaths in the Chambal waters continues to elude scientists. More than 90 of the critically endangered species have died since early December, all within a stretch of about

  • Tender notice for common sense

    after 30 years of efforts in India to conserve gharials, the country does not have one veterinarian who can conduct a post-mortem to establish the cause of a gharial's death. The animal is found

  • Endangered gharials die mysterious death

    Endangered gharials die mysterious death

    more than 40 gharials were found dead downstream in the Chambal river, ahead of its confluence point with the Yamuna. Preliminary reports indicated liver cirrhosis was among the causes of the

  • India has fewer gharials in the wild than tigers

    India’s gharials are in serious trouble. There are fewer than 200 of these river predators left in the wild. And their deplorable state has remained ignored even by the media, while the tiger hogs the headline -- but the truth is that gharials are 20 times more endangered than tigers.

  • Global encomiums to protect alligators in MP

    World Conservation Union (IUCA) has praised the crisis management efforts undertaken in Madhya Pradesh to check deaths of alligators.

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