Toxin caused ghariyal deaths in UP, MP: Final report soon

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New Delhi, Feb 16 (UNI) The recent large number of deaths of alligators or 'Ghariyal' in the Chambal river, running from Madhya Pradesh to Uttar Pradesh has been ascribed to hunger and to a toxin which affected the kidneys of the reptiles.

The experts committee, set up to inquire into the causes of the deaths, had in its interim report concluded that toxins affected the kidneys of the reptiles, which in turn led to an increase in the uric acid in the joint of the crocodilian, constraining their movement to hunt fish, said Uttar Pradesh Chief Wildlife Warden D N S Suman here.

''So in a way, we can say that that the reptiles died both of hunger and toxicity, ''he said.

Mr Suman had come to take part in the State Wildife and Forest Officers Conference organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forests.

As many as 67 'Ghariyals' had died on the Uttar Pradesh side and 35 on the Madhya Pradesh side. There is no pollution in the Chambal, but the toxin came from the Yamuna side, and through a fish.

The fish called 'tilapia,' which is of African origin came into the Yamuna system and replaced the local species which were more resistant to the toxin which is yet to be identified, said Mr Suman.

He said the final report will be submitted to the Government in a week or 10 days.

The Indian alligator (Gavialis Gangeticus) is on the red list of critically endangered species of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN).

The deaths were brought to the notice of the government in December by an NGO, the Society for Conservation of Nature.

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