thursday thoughts 15.11.12

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Gharials – often confused with crocodiles – are characterized by their long and thin snout and the ghara or pot on their head and eat only fish. They are one of the most threatened crocodile species and are classified as critically endangered by the World Conservation Union.

The species is already extinct in its former range in Pakistan, Bhutan, and Myanmar, and most likely also in Bangladesh. Not more than 1,400 specimens remain in the wild today, with less than 200 in their breeding age group. Besides Chambal, gharials are found in isolated stretches of the Ken, Son, Girwa and Ganges rivers in India.

Most of gharial mortalities have been reported in the Uttar Pradesh side of the river, near the confluence of the Chambal and the Yamuna that flows through India’s bustling capital, Delhi, and the historic city of Agra.

Early results point to levels of heavy metals –…

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