Ghariyal population up in CNP

Chitwan, December 27

The number of ghariyals in the Rapti and Narayani rivers flowing through Chitwan National Park has grown by one-third compared to the census two years ago.

As per the latest count in 2018, whose results were made public yesterday, additional 53 ghariyal, including 34 in the Rapti and 19 in the Narayani River were recorded this time. The count by the Department of National Parks was conducted in February and March this year.

“If the data is anything to go by, ghariyal population has increased by 32 per cent and by 40 and 23 per cent in the Rapti and Naryani rivers respectively in comparison to the 2016 count,” said CNP Chief Conservation Officer Bed Kumar Dhakal. As per the results of the latest count, the Narayani and Rapti rivers were recorded to have 118 and 101 ghariyals respectively.

After a crocodile breeding centre was set up in Kasara of CNP in 1978, the CNP has been breeding ghariyals in the centre and releasing them in different rivers since 1981. So far, the national park has released 685 ghariyals in the Rapti River and 399 in the Narayani River.

Besides the two rivers, ghariyals are also released in other major rivers such as Kaligandaki, Saptakoshi, Karnali and Babai. Lately, young ghariyals are not being released in the Kaligadaki and Saptakoshi rivers.