Gharial got Extincted in Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh
Punjab Government is all set to Re-Introduce in Satluj Beas River.
There are merely 200 breeding adults of Gharials left in the wild system and Punjabis are lucky to see these Gharials sailing in Satluj beas River soon as Punjab Wildlife Department soon going to release them in month of October- November 2017. As per department officials October-November is the Best season for release. Being Non Alarming to humans Department is also thought of clearing misconceptions regarding Gharials amongst people.
Gharial is last surviving species of the family Gavialidae. Once found in Pakistan, Bhutan, Myanmar and Bangladesh, it is now extinct in these countries. In India, only 200 breeding adults of Gharials are left in the wild. The Gharial is now, enviably the most endangered large animal on the subcontinent. it has been listed in scheducle-1 of indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and listed as ” Critically Endangered” in the IUCN Red List of Endangered species in 2007. Historical records revel that Gharial was once Found in the river of Punjab. Last Gharial was Killed in 1965 in Beas River. Gharial is harmless animal and man-animal conflict is not a issue with this animal.
Gharial may become a flagship specie for Harike Wildlife Sanctuary and a successful re-introduction programe is surely going to boost tourism in the region and it has potential to attract nation and international tourists per year as in Gir or Kanha National Park.
After passing through different stages for scrutiny, Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change has accorded permission for re-introduction of Gharial in Harike Wildlife Sanctuary. Punjab Forest and Wildlife has all prepartions for re-introduction programe and associated reputed organizations and NGO like Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, International Union for conservation Nature, World Wildlife Fund – India and other stakeholders. Public discource programme was organized and meeting with adjoining villages were conducted in which Panchs, Sarpanchs and other villagers were invited and consent of villages were obtained after giving full information regarding. Seventeen hatchlings of appropriate size are with the department at Chhatbir Zoo, ready for release. Further hatchlings shall be brought from Uttar Pardesh and Madhya Pardesh. For which consent of these states are already obtained. Appropriate season for release is either October-November or February-March.