105 crocodiles released into Rapti river

NL Today

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Chitwan: A total of 105 crocodiles of the Gharial species have been released into the Rapti river. The crocodiles were raised at the crocodile breeding center of Chitwan National Park.

Crocodiles are raised in the breeding center with the aim of helping in the conservation of Gharial crocodiles, since the rate of survival and growth in the natural habitat is low, said information officer of the park, Ganesh Prasad Tiwari.

Established in the year 2035 BS, the Gharial Crocodile Breeding Center has so far released 1,957 crocodiles in different rivers of the country.  So far, 1,222 crocodiles were released in the Rapti River, 419 in Narayani River, 110 in Babai, 115 in Saptakoshi, 35 in Kaligandaki, 41 in Karnali, 10 in West Rapti River of Banke National Park, and 25 in Chaudhar river of Shuklaphanta National Park.

 According to information officer Tiwari there are currently 622 crocodiles in Gharial breeding center.

 Gharial Crocodile (Gavialis gangeticus) belongs to the Crocodylia Order and Crocodylidae Family. The reptile is native to Nepal, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and Pakistan in the world. It is listed as a critically endangered species in the IUCN Red List category and Appendix I of CITES, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.

However, the number of crocodiles has not increased even though they are raised in the breeding center and released into the river. Conservation has become a challenge due to human activities and the crocodiles flowing across the border into India.(RSS)