160 baby gharials hatch along northern India’s Gandak river, marking conservation success

160 baby gharials hatch along northern India’s Gandak river, marking conservation success

In a significant conservation milestone, 160 baby gharials have successfully hatched along the banks of a river in northern India’s Bihar, coinciding with World Crocodile Day. 


The incident took place along the banks of the Gandak river, Bagaha city on June 17.

Visuals showed the baby gharials gracefully coming out of the eggs and moving around swiftly with their tiny limbs.


According to reports, the hatchings occurred across six monitored nests in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, marking a triumph for wildlife conservation efforts in the region.


The Wildlife Trust of India, in collaboration with the Forest Department and local nest watchers, has been diligently monitoring these nests for the past three months. This year also saw the identification of a gharial nest in the Sohagibarwa Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh for the first time. This nest, containing 34 eggs, was discovered near Sadhu Ghat and belonged to a female gharial previously released in Nepal.


“Out of the six nests detected this year, five have hatched successfully, while another is yet to hatch,” said Subrat Kumar Behera, the lead of the Gandak Gharial Recovery Project. The ongoing monitoring and protection efforts have been crucial in safeguarding these nests from threats such as riverbank erosion, which remains a significant challenge for the survival of this critically endangered species.


Last year, the project team successfully released 125 gharial hatchlings into the Gandak River. Since its inception in 2013, the Gandak Gharial Recovery Project has monitored and protected 44 nests and released over 600 hatchlings into the river, significantly bolstering the local gharial population. The project is supported by the Department of Environment, Forest, and Climate Change, Government of Bihar, the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department, and the Los Angeles Zoo, California.


This year’s successful hatching underscores the importance of continuous monitoring, community involvement, and proactive measures to address the threats faced by the gharials. The dedication of the Wildlife Trust of India and its collaborators provides hope for the future of these ancient reptiles in the region.

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