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Important Facts For Prelims

Gharials

  • 21 Dec 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, the Department of Punjab Forest and Wildlife Preservation, in collaboration with the World-Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) has released a lot of 24 gharials (Gavialis Gangeticus) into the Beas Conservation Reserve.

  • The gharial reintroduction in the Beas Conservation Reserve is an ambitious programme of the Punjab government.

Key Points

  • About:
    • Gharials, sometimes called gavials, are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts. Crocodilians are a group of reptiles that includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and more.
    • India has three species of Crocodilians namely:
  • Habitat of Gharials:
    • Natural Habitat: Fresh waters of the northern part of India.
    • Primary Habitat: Chambal river (a tributary of Yamuna).
    • Secondary Habitat: Ghagra, Gandak river, Girwa river (Uttar Pradesh), the Ramganga river (Uttarakhand) and the Sone river (Bihar).
  • Significance: Population of Gharials are a good indicator of clean river water.
  • Conservation Efforts:
    • Breeding Centres of Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, National Chambal Sanctuary (Gharial Eco Park, Madhya Pradesh).
  • Threats:
    • Increased river pollution, dam construction, massive-scale fishing operations and floods.
    • Illegal sand mining and poaching.

Beas Conservation Reserve

  • In 2017, a programme was initiated to re-introduce the critically endangered gharial (Gavialis gangeticus) with 47 individuals released into the River 30 years after their disappearance.

Beas River

  • It originates near the Rohtang Pass, at a height of 4,062 m above sea level, on the southern end of the Pir Panjal Range, close to the source of the Ravi. It is a tributary of the Indus river.
  • It meets the Satluj river at Harike in Punjab. It is a comparatively small river which is only 460 km long but lies entirely within the Indian territory.
  • It forms a gorge at Kati and Largi in the Dhauladhar range.
  • The major tributaries of the Beas River are Bain, Banganga, Luni and Uhal, along with Banner, Chakki, Gaj, Harla, Mamuni, Parvati, Patlikuhlal, Sainj, Suketi and Tirthan.

Source: IE

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