Gharial Conservation Alliance

Current Conservation



Conservation work on gharials has been going on since the late 1970s. However, the recent revelations that gharial numbers are in steep decline indicates that despite the efforts of dedicated individuals, the past strategies for conservation have not been effective. Therefore, the Gharial Conservation Alliance and its allies are assessing past failures and developing new plans for immediate action to stem the decline of gharials.

Past conservation efforts included extensive captive breeding and “head-starting” gharials for release into the wild. Although captive breeding has been very successful the head-starting/wild-release programs seems to have been ineffective in stemming the decline of gharials, most likely due to the continued habitat destruction and factors contributing to gharial mortality.

Therefore the GCA is now focusing on habitat protection, enforcement of protected areas, education and cooperation with local people as conservation priorities for gharials.

More on current conservation projects in the works can be found here.

While these new efforts are getting started, the GCA and partners are continuing and stepping up population monitoring efforts and ecological research. This population and ecological data will be used in developing and implementing management plans and advising policy decisions by government. All current and past data on gharials is being compiled to create a Gharial Information Database, which will be a valuable tool for future research and conservation work.

Conservation priorities

To bring the gharial back from the brink of extinction the following are measures the GCA believes must be taken:

Captive breeding

Though the GCA has adopted the position that no further wild releases of gharial be carried out at this time, captive breeding facilities are important reserves for genetic diversity of gharials. This will be important for future restocking efforts if wild habitats are secured and restocking is considered a viable option.

Captive breeding facilities such as the Madras Crocodile Bank have also been important sources for information on the reproductive biology and ecology of the gharial.

Zoos in Gharial Conservation

Zoos give visitors the chance to see a real live gharial, to learn about this remarkable animal, to appreciate its uniqueness, and to learn about the conservation crisis facing gharials in the wild.

Zoos have become an important force in gharial conservation through education and awareness, fundraising, and may prove to be an important genetic reservoir for the species. Several zoos in Europe and the United States have been particularly helpful, raising much needed funds for GCA research and operations and through outreach and education campaigns. In addition, steps have been taken towards starting World Association of Zoos and Aquria (WAZA) and European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) crocodile campaigns which would include gharial conservation programs.

The following is a list of known zoos that have gharials in their collections. Please contact us if you know of other zoos, or if you are a zoo interested in obtaining gharials for your collection.

Europe

La Ferme aux Crocodiles, Pierrelatte,France

Danish Crocodilian Exhibition, Denmark

Prague Zoo, Czech Republic

North America

Busch Gardens, Tampa, USA

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, USA

Ft. Worth Zoo, USA

Honolulu Zoo, USA

National Zoo Washington D.C., USA

St. Augustine Alligator Farm, USA

San Antonio Zoo, USA

San Diego Zoo, USA

Asia

Central Zoo, Nepal

Mirpur Zoo, Bangladesh

India

Alipore Zoological Gardens

Amirdhi Zoo

Arignar Anna Zoological Park

Assam State Zoo Cum Biological Park

Bhagwan Birsa Biological Park

Biological Park

Chennai Snake Park Trust

Deer Park, Bir Moti Bagh

Gandhi Zoological Park

Indira Gandhi Park Zoo and Deer Park

Indira Gandhi Zoological Park

Jaipur Zoo

Jawaharlal Nehru Biological Park

Kamla Nehru Prani Sanghrahalay Zoo

Kamla Nehru Zoological Garden

Kanan Pandari Zoo

Kanpur Zoological Park

Lucknow Zoological Park

Madras Crocodile Bank Trust/Centre for Herpetology

Mahatma Gandhi Rastriya Udyan Zoo

Mahendra Chaudhury Zoological Park

Maitri Baagh Zoo

Mini Zoo Pipli

Nandankanan Biological Park

National Park, Bannerghatta Zoological Garden

National Zoological Park

Nature Park, Surat

Patna Zoo

Pililikula Wildlife Safari at Madushedde

Rajiv Gandhi Zoological Park

Rohtak Zoo

Sakkarbaug Zoo

Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park

Sarnath Deer Park

Sayaji Baug Zoo

Singapore Zoological Gardens, Singapore

Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

Sri Venkateswara Zoological Park

State Museum and Zoo

Tata Steel Zoological Park

Thiruvananthapuram Zoo

Vanavigyan Kendra, Hunter Road, Hanamkonda

Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo