65 endangered juvenile gharials released into Ganges at Hastinapur, UP
To protect the 'critically-endangered' species from extinction, the Uttar Pradesh government in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature has released 65 juvenile Gharials, bred in captivity, into the Ganges at Hastinapur.
Hastinapur: To protect the 'critically-endangered' species from extinction, the Uttar Pradesh government in association with the World Wide Fund for Nature has released 65 juvenile Gharials, bred in captivity, into the Ganges at Hastinapur.
The initiative was to introduce the critically endangered long-snouted crocodile into their natural habitat, where their chances of survival are higher.
The juvenile animals, which were of 3 years of age, consist of 50 females and 15 males. The reptiles which are being released into the Ganga, were brought from the Kukrail breeding facility in Lucknow to the Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Gharials, which weighed between 4 to 8 Kgs, were 1.23 to 1.51 meters long and belonged to the 2012 batch of hatchlings.
Friday's release was attended by Arvind Kumar Singh, sub-divisional magistrate of Hastinapur, Sushant Sharma, district forest officer and community members from Makhdumpur, Jalalpur and Kishorpur.
They also witnessed a brief session of WWF-India experts on the anthropogenic threats faced by the species.
The experts also shared insights on biometry exercise conducted prior to the release, and establishing skewed markings to create an individual identity number for all the animals due for release.
Gharial has been listed as a 'Critically Endangered' species in the IUCN Red List and falls under 'Schedule I' of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act.