A national census on Gharials highlights 779 gharials missing from Chitwan National Park.Chitwan National Park has established Crocodile Breeding Center back in 1978 in an effort to save the rapidly dwindling gharial. Despite the hard effort of the park, the numbers of Gharial crocodiles is falling rapidly and now their population is confined to only a small area of Nepal’s major rivers.
“The riverside habitat of crocodiles has been lost to agriculture and water-control projects, with fishing nets also taking a toll,” said Tikaram Poudel, Assistant Conservation Officer of Chitwan National Park.
“They are killed for their skins which are used to make purses, shoes and belts and their eggs are stolen for food or as a remedy for tuberculosis,” added, Poudel.
Gharianls are known for their long, slim snouts and great length, with some growing up to 7 meters (23 ft) long. Young gharials are released into the wild when they are six years-old, two metres (six feet) long and are able to hunt for themselves for the fish that sustain them. One adult can eat up to six kg (13 lbs) of fish a day.