Gharial Conservation Alliance

Research and Conservation


The GCA, members, and partner organizations are conducting research to better understand ghaials and their needs in order to develop and carry out efficient conservation strategies. Read more about our research programs here.


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.