Natural breeding of alligators in Chambal river delights people

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Chambal (Uttar Pradesh), June 27 (ANI): Natural breeding of Ghariyals or, the Indian alligators in Chambal river here has delighted residents and authorities, as it reflects a favourable sign for reptiles' conservation.

Two years since a mysterious disease seriously affected the population of Ghariyals, the natural breeding of the reptiles has come as a ray of hope for conservationists and authorities here.

Many Ghariyals had been lost to the disease, more of these reptiles were released in the river by the Kukrail Gharial Rehabilitation Centre, situated in Lucknow.

Authorities are delighted that there are now many Ghariyal babies in the river but also concede the face that protecting them from the monsoons and diseases is going to be a challenge.

"The breeding that has happened is a good sign for their conservation. But the problem is to conserve the hatchlings and protect them from monsoons. Because it is seen in their breeding out of the population of the hatchlings that is seen, the survival percentage is less," said Rajeev Chauhan, General Secretary of the Society for Conservation of Nature.

Meanwhile, local residents believe that though it is a favourable sign.

However, many of them allege that the authorities are careless and because of that the Ghariyals are hunted, and naturally their population decreases with time, despite good breeding.

"Officers here are careless and because of that many hunters come and hunt the Ghariyals, hence, they die. So the population decreases," said a resident elderly man.

Various species of crocodiles and alligators are seriously endangered due to hunting and now largely from loss of habitat, particularly breeding sites.

The Ghariyals were on the verge of extinction in the 1970's. But the Ghariyal rehabilitation project started by the government in 1975 had helped increase the population again.

Rivers Chambal, Girwa, Rapti and Narayani in the orbit of central and northern India are among the main habitats for crocodiles and alligators. By Brajesh Kr. Singh (ANI)

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