Two male ghariyals sighted at CNP

Chitwan, February 26

Two male ghariyals were found in the Narayani and Rapti rivers that flow through Chitwan National Park.

The finding comes at a time when the challenge to conservation of the crocodile species under the threat of extinction was felt acutely. The males were found during the recently concluded count of crocodiles in Rapti and Narayani rivers.

Earlier, after no males were detected in these rivers, a team from the national park had brought a male ghariyal from the Babai River of Bardia and left it there in the Narayani Rver about two months ago. “While we found one at Bhelauji, near Tribeni in the Narayani river, the other was found in Sauraha ghat in the Rapti river,” said CNP Assistant Conservation Officer Bed Bahadur Khadka. “As a male is capable of meeting the mating demand of a number of female crocodiles, the two would be enough for the females,” he added.

Earlier, the perceived death of the only male crocodile falling in a fishing trap in the Narayani River last year had prompted the national park authorities to go on a search for a male crocodile to save the species by ensuing a mating partner for the females. While one was then brought from Bardia, the national park was in the process of bringing one more from India.

CNP had conducted the recent crocodile count taking three days since Friday. “Now that we have a total of three male ghariyals, we won’t have any problem in reproduction of the species,” said Khadka, adding that the male crocodiles found are approximately 20 years old.  He further estimated there could be more male ghariyals in the rivers.

According to Khadka, the final result of the crocodile count will be out in a few days. A total of 50 people in 11 groups had participated in the count.

The last count was done about two years ago when a total of 166 crocodiles were found in the Rapti and Narayani rivers, and some 198 in rivers across the country.

Besides the Rapti and Narayani, crocodiles are also found in Babai, Karnali, Kaligandaki and Koshi rivers.