Brahmaputra's Lone Female Gharial Awaits Potential Mate After Years of Solitude

Wildlife officials and experts are intrigued by her presence, as gharials were thought to have vanished from this river system since the 1950s.
Brahmaputra's Lone Female Gharial Awaits Potential Mate After Years of Solitude
Brahmaputra's Lone Female Gharial Awaits Potential Mate After Years of SolitudeThe Hindu

In a remarkable discovery, a lone female gharial has been observed in the Brahmaputra river within Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, eastern Assam. Wildlife officials and experts are intrigued by her presence, as gharials were thought to have vanished from this river system since the 1950s.

First sighted in 2021 within the Biswanath Wildlife Division of Kaziranga, this nearly adult-sized gharial, measuring 2.55 meters in length, has become a focal point for potential efforts to reintroduce the species in the area. Survey findings reveal her resilience despite natural challenges, including withstanding multiple floods.

The recent survey by Turtle Survival Alliance Foundation India and Assam Forest Department also documented significant biodiversity, including various turtle species and the Gangetic river dolphin, underscoring the ecosystem's potential.

"We propose a high-priority reintroduction of gharials in this suitable habitat," emphasized Sushmita Kar, TSAFI's project director. Kaziranga's Director, Sonali Ghosh, highlighted the area's ideal conditions for a gharial breeding program, citing minimal anthropogenic disturbances and abundant fish populations.

Pending approval, plans may include bringing gharials from Uttar Pradesh's Kukrail gharial breeding center. This initiative aims to restore gharials to their historical range and ensure the survival of this critically endangered species.

Brahmaputra's Lone Female Gharial Awaits Potential Mate After Years of Solitude
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