Expanded tiger reserve may see the return of gharials in Assam

Contact Counsellor

Expanded tiger reserve may see the return of gharials in Assam

  • The Assam government has issued a preliminary notification to make Orang National Park more than thrice its existing size for conserving Gharials.
  • On September 21 Government dropped the ‘Rajiv Gandhi’ prefix to Orang National Park given by the government in 1992.


  • The Assam government is pursuing a policy for the reintroduction of the gharial that became locally extinct more than six decades ago.
  • With better protection, the stretch of the Kaziranga-Orang landscape is ideal for sustaining the gharials.


  • Gharials, sometimes called gavials, are a type of Asian crocodilian distinguished by their long, thin snouts.
  • Crocodilians are a group of reptiles.
  • It includes crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and more.
  • India has three species of Crocodilians namely:
  • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus): IUCN Red List- Critically Endangered
  • Mugger crocodile (Crocodylus palustris): IUCN- Vulnerable.
  • Saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus): IUCN- Least Concern.
  • All the three are listed on Appendix I of CITES and Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
  • Exception: Saltwater Crocodile populations of Australia, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea are included in Appendix II of CITES.

Habitat of Gharials

  • Natural Habitat: Freshwaters 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).


  • Population of Gharials are a good indicator of clean river water.

Conservation Efforts

  • Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
  • National Chambal Sanctuary (Gharial Eco Park, Madhya Pradesh).


  • Increased river pollution, dam construction, massive-scale fishing operations and floods.
  • Illegal sand mining and poaching.