Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Reviving Gharials in Kaziranga


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Gharial and its conservation, Kaziranga NP

Why in the News?

In Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, a lone female gharial has emerged as a significant presence, marking a potential revival for the species in the Brahmaputra River.

About Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve:

  • Located in the state of Assam, Kaziranga is renowned for its biodiversity and conservation efforts.
  • Established in 1905 as a reserve forest and declared a national park in 1974.
  • Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 for its unique natural environment and successful conservation of the Great One-Horned Rhinoceros.
  • Kaziranga is home to the highest density of tigers among protected areas in the world.
  • It hosts two-thirds of the world’s Great One-Horned Rhinoceros population, a significant conservation success story.
  • The park spans approximately 430 square kilometers (166 square miles) of grasslands, wetlands, and forests.

One-Horned Rhinoceros:

  • OneHorned Rhinos: IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable; CITES: Appendix I ; WPA, 1972: Schedule I.
  • Mainly found in Assam, West Bengal.
  • Assam hosts about 2,640 rhinos across Pobitora WLS, Rajiv Gandhi Orang NP, Kaziranga NP, and Manas NP.

About Gharial

  • The Gharial is a fish-eating crocodile native to the Indian subcontinent.
  • They are a crucial indicator of clean river water.
  • It is also found in the rainforest biome of Mahanadi in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary, Odisha.
  • Gharials are ‘Critically Endangered’ in the IUCN Red List of Species.
  • The species is also listed under Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • National Chambal Sanctuary along the river Chambal in Madhya Pradesh is the biggest protected area of the species.

Recent findings of Gharial in Kaziranga

  • Gharials, distinguished by their long, narrow snouts, were believed to have disappeared from the Brahmaputra by the 1950s.
  • The female gharial, initially spotted in 2021, has grown to nearly adult size, providing hope for their reintroduction into the ecosystem.


[2013] Consider the following fauna of India :

1. Gharial

2. Leatherback turtle

3. Swamp deer

Which of the above is/are endangered?

(a) 1 and 2 only

(b) 3 only

(c) 1, 2 and 3

(d) None

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