GHARIALS (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     5th July 2024        
output themes

Context: The female gharial was found to be the only one of its kind moving between a “sandy shoreline” and a “sand bar with a shoreline water depth of 4.5 metres”.


  • About: These are freshwater crocodiles primarily found in deep, fast-flowing rivers.
  • Distribution: Historically, they were widespread in river systems across India, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan.
  • Distinctive Features: Female gharials lack the distinctive ghara (pot-like structure) on the tip of the snout that males possess.
  • Reintroduction Proposal: Brahmaputra landscape, focusing on the Biswanath Division, due to suitable habitat conditions.
  • Rehabilitation Centers: Gharials for reintroduction likely to come from the Kukrail gharial breeding center near Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh and the National Chambal Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
  • Crocodilian Species in India

oGharial (Gavialis gangeticus) - Critically Endangered.

oMugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris) - Vulnerable.

oSaltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) - Least Concern.


  • About: Originates from the Chemayungdung glacier in southwestern Tibet.
  • Its source is near the origins of the Indus and Satluj rivers.
  • Confluence: Near the town of Sadiya, the Dihang river turns southwest and is joined by the Lohit and Dibang mountain streams.
  • Below this confluence, it becomes known as the Brahmaputra.